The Gujarat State has recently taken important initiatives to express its commitment to innovations in Education. In February 2009, the Gujarat Educational Innovations Act was passed by the Gujarat Legislative Assembly; this Act underlines the necessity of innovating the education system as a whole and it contributed to the development of an innovative concept of Children’s University, in respect of which an Act was passed by the Gujarat Legislative Assembly in June last. The problems of teacher’s education are the next steps that have been taken up by the Government of Gujarat. The Indian Institute of Teacher Education Act was passed in March 2010. The Curriculum Committee that has been constitute4d for developing a curriculum of the IITE has a special privilege and responsibility to look at the problems of teachers’ education in the context of emerging needs of today and tomorrow, and to deliberate on the most fundamental problems which have not so far received adequate attention in the fields of educational research, particularly, in the field of pedagogy. (Copies of the above Acts are enclosed.)
Apart from the above-mentioned three Acts, which have been passed by the Gujarat Legislative Assembly, the Universities in Gujarat have initiated a massive effort at the introduction of semester system and credit system in a phased manner. The new climate which has been created in the higher education as a result of this initiative is favorable to the innovative spirit of the Curriculum Committee of the IITE.
The fundamental thrust of the curriculum that the Committee has to develop will result from the emerging and imperative need to develop new types of teachers that can respond to the oft-repeated ideal ideal of education for integral development of personality which would be both value-oriented and skill-oriented, and which would be sensitive to both science science and aesthetics, and which would not only be global in character and outlook but also empowered to discharge corresponding responsibilities. This may appear to be a tall goal, but considering the speed with which the contemporary world is spinning forward, it may seem that even our farthest forward looking ideas will soon become common place. It is with that sense that we can think of the following new thrusts to the programmes of teacher’s education:
We may think of 4 or 5 year integrated programme of teacher’s integrated education and thus of providing to the candidates for teacher education sufficient time to develop their own integral personality, their value-orientation, their skill-orientation and their global outlook and its allied abilities, such as multilingualism and wide knowledge of India and the world as also sensitiveness to empathies with the students of today and tomorrow who have begun to manifest new attitudes and new inclinations, which need to be understood, appreciated and channelised towards the fulfillment of the highest aspirations of humanity.
In consonance with the aims of semester system and credit system, we need to emphasise the theme of interdisciplinarity and even though we may retain the present day streams of arts, science and commerce, we need to ensure that the products of I ITE are interdisciplinary and are able to enter into the new fields of inquiry without psychological blockades of rigidity and inability.
We have in India already an experience of integrated teacher education programme which was initiated by the NCERT and successfully implemented at its Mysore Campus. Even today the Mysore University has continued this 4 or 5 year integrated programme for arts, science and commerce, and we can learn a great deal from its curriculum and even adopt many of its elements.
At same time, we can think developing a few foundational courses, which break the boundaries of the present day streamlines and which would also respond to the holistic demands that our educational system is now beginning to make upon teachers. In this context, we may propose to have in the new curriculum that we shall have to frame the following foundational courses, which can all be spread over 4 years / 5 years:
In addition, we will also conceive two or three or four Core Courses, again spread over 4 or 5 years. These Core Courses can be envisaged to aid the teachers in their actual school work where they will be serving as teachers’. These courses can be as follows:
We may briefly analyse the above mentioned Foundational and Core Courses:
As far as the General Knowledge Course is concerned, we may conceive of this course to consist of two components. The first component would only acquaint the students with the domains in respect of which we may expect students to possess some acquaintance with prominent names, terms, phrases, etc., in regard to these domains (Annexure -1). They may include :-
The nature of the universe;
Relationship of the earth with the universe;
Matter, life and mind;
Mystery of the human body and human intelligence;
A bird’s eye view of the world history;
What is Philosophy?
What is Religion?
The visual arts;
Music and dance;
Languages and Literatures;
Countries of the world.
The second component of this course would consist of a number of alternatives, and students may be allowed to select any two or three alternative studies. This may include, with greater details, the following topics:-