Teacher Education

Teacher Education Institutions were established in a gradual manner to cater to the needs of teachers in the state. The first Teacher Education Institution under the Theological College was started by the Welsh Mission at Cherrapunjee for training of teachers at the primary level. In 1861, the Government decided to amalgamate the Training School section of the Cherrapunjee Normal School from Nongsawlia to Shillong and attached to the Welsh Mission High School at Mawkhar Shillong. By 1946, the Training School functioned in the same building.

“Are Effective people born or Made” – Whenever I have asked this question to people, most of the time I have got a mixed response.

Saraswati, a 20-year old mother of two from rural Madhya Pradesh hopes that her children can finish eight-years of schooling unlike her. Kishan Jatav a twelve-year old wanted to become a ‘space scientist’ like Abdul Kalam but had to drop out of school in Class VI to help his brother run a bicycle repair shop.

When we think about the teacher, images of students, classrooms and schools spring up in the mind. We talk about the number of students the teacher teaches, the furniture and teaching aids in the classroom, the type of school, small or large, and the like. These we understand as the context in which the teacher works, and we are aware that the context influences the manner in which the teacher teaches.

All curricula are situated in contexts and are simultaneously guided by ideals. Therefore, an understanding of and a balance between the two is essential.

All over the world, including India, there is an aspiration that every student should be actively engaged in their learning. Achieving this aspiration demands highly skilled teachers and quality teacher education.  

Effecting inclusion involves an attitude of acceptance. The diversity of faiths, customs, languages, and ethnicities in India places us in professional, social, personal situations where we are presented with opportunities to practice inclusion-- and for acceptance of the differences. In many ways then we have been practicing aspects of inclusion-exclusion in our routines of work, social and personal practices. Given the diversities within our context inclusion as a concept is thus not new to Indian society or to its ancient and/or traditional practices.

Sir Ken Robinson outlines 3 principles crucial for the human mind to flourish -- and how current education culture works against them. In a funny, stirring talk he tells us how to get out of the educational "death valley" we now face, and how to nurture our youngest generations with a climate of possibility.

The idea of an "education for teachers" will establish the school as a place of adult learning. It will set the tone for the future engagement of young teachers, for educators to explore on their own and with each other. It must be in the forefront of the educator's mind if this change in attitude has to come about. For it is here that priorities are set, and if the educator is not himself on fire, no amount of flame-fanning will help.

In this poignant, funny follow-up to his fabled 2006 talk, Sir Ken Robinson makes the case for a radical shift from standardized schools to personalized learning -- creating conditions where kids' natural talents can flourish.


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