Institute of International Education (IIE)
Draft 091022 Seminar at 14.00, Room 2527, Pedagogiska Institutionen, Stockholm university. Sweden
EDUCATION AND TEACHERS
FOR ALL INDIANS:
A RESEARCH PROPOSAL
by Jan Sjunnesson Rao, Lecturer. M.Sc., MA*
Table of contents
Background to India and education for all 3
Teacher education in India 8
Earlier research on teacher education and global perspectives 12
Theory, methodology and research questions 15
Research design 19
The aim of this research is to understand the implementation of current reforms in Indian teacher education. By investigating how the reforms are understood by regional and local stakeholders in educational management institutions, a better knowledge of the teaching profession and teacher education in India is gained.
The background section in this proposal is quite long in order to introduce the context of Indian education, its legal framework and the teacher education system to readers unfamiliar with India.
Some basic facts about India
The Indian nation is as vast as Europe in its diversity with two national languages (Hindi, English), 24 constitutionally recognized regional languages with nine different scripts, not including tribal languages and other mother tongues. Climate types on the Indian sub-continent range from tropical hot, tropical dry, subtropical humid to alpine for its 1,2 billion citizens. Indian history dates back to 5000 B.C.E with a rich cultural heritage and early signs of advanced state building. The earlier very sharp social divisions still affect education, government, politics and everyday life.
With an average annual GDP growth rate of 5.8% for the past two decades, the economy is among the fastest growing in the world. It has the world's second largest labour force with 515 million people and the world’s second largest employer, Indian Railways.
The government is a federal republic with strong independence for the more than 30 regional states and territories. In education as in other areas, power relations between center, regional, district and local governmental levels are often discussed. The challenges for teacher development, institutional support in teacher education and student learning outcomes for instance are enormous and in very large numbers.
Some staggering statistics for schools, teachers, and teacher education:
In 2007 there were 7 461 teacher training institutions of various kinds (private, governmental at different levels, religious, charity supported etc.) offering 9 045 courses that were recognised by the National Council of Teacher Education (NCTE) with an approved annual intake of 772 000 teacher trainees.
India has four million teachers catering to one million schools (primary – upper primary) for almost 200 million children. 75% of teachers had some pre-service training. The rest of teachers have little in-service on top of their finished secondary schooling. Some teachers have not finished more than 10 years in school though.
However, only 5% of Indian children between 6- 14 are out of school, a hard to achieve goal was met last year . India has signed the UNESCO and UN Millennium goal of Universal Primary Education to all children several times: in 1990 (Justine, Thailand), in 2000 (in Dakar, Senegal) and again to meet the objective by 2015. Teachers in adequate quantity and of good quality are crucial to fulfill the vision which is why the title of this research proposal is “Education and teachers for all Indians”.
History of the right to primary education for all 1950 – 2009
The former colonial power Britain had brought their style of basic education to India in 1835 but it was not meant for universal access. The Brits viewed Indian civilization itself in need of Western knowledge and values, as they could not find “no books on any subject which deserve to be compared to our own” . Sir Thomas Macaulay established in 1857 three universities and around 50 primary schools. But none were aimed for other students than the higher strata of Indian society, which now included students of some Indian origin and Anglo-Indians.
Parallel to these English elite schools, Indian young men and boys of high caste descent continued being taught in Brahmin Gurukuls, or Muslim wealthy boys in the higher stages of learning through madrasas. There was other areas of learning taught in special educational facilities; warfare skills for the Kshatriya warrior caste and mercent knowledge for the business caste Vaishya.
In India is was a matter of national right and pride by 1909 when the moderate Congress member G.K. Gokahle tried to introduce a Bill in the Indian Council but failed. Education for the masses, or for girls, was not heard of until the 1920s when nationalist Congress party advocated “national schools”, Indian schools for the Indians. These failed to rival the British schools which many educated Indians, including prominent Congress party officials, preferred for their children.
But the struggle for universal education for all went on along the independence movement in the 1930-40s. The nationalist freedom fighter M.K. Gandhi wanted national schools to teach life skills in the “nai talim” form, i.e. weaving and other village crafts but not a general primary education as in almost all Western countries by then. Even India’s first primary minister J. Nehru was reluctant to support a common school system. He only envisaged “one-teacher schools” for the masses with “basic, not literary education. ..“ . The Gandhian ideas of provincial rural learning styles would come back as a national reform for Non-Formal Education (NFE) and “para-teachers” in the 1980s.
By 1947 India was free and in 1950 the Constitution stated in its Article 45 that “The state shall endeavor to provide, within a period of ten years from the commencement of this Constitution, for free and compulsory education for all children until they complete the age of fourteen years”. . The further revisions in educational policies in 1968, 1986 and 1992 were also ambitious in their pedagogic analyses but gave no further hopes for reaching all children with schools. Well thought policy is very high ranked over detailed practice in India as elsewhere – or even more so.
The various regional states in the Indian federation were from 1950 and onwards responsible for implementing the constitutional promise of primary education for all children, but did not do so for decades. In 1975 the Centre government put the responsibility for primary education on a joint state / centre responsibility, the so-called “concurrent list” in an amendment (the 42nd) to the Constitution. However, the right to education was not a fundamental right in the constitutional sense but only a strong directional policy of recommendation from the centre to the states.
In 1993 a fundamental right to life and liberty in the Constitution, Article 21 which was until then seen unrelated to education, was used to promote elementary education in a legal case against the regional state government of Andra Pradesh . Many states had blamed lack of funds for their poor performance in providing education for their young citizens. The verdict lead the state to implement basic education for children up to age 14 as the Constitution had stated earlier.
The Indian states have since then no freedom to leave educational reforms undone but only to adhere to centre. The 1993 verdict reads: “Entitlements sanctioned by the Constitution cannot be deferred by the State at its convenience. The State has to make the necessary reallocation of resources, by superseding other important claims, if necessary, in a manner that the justifiable entitlement becomes a reality” . But this right to basic primary education for all was still not a fundamental right in itself, but only through other fundamental rights.
Further educational advocacy in the 1990s for a fundamental right to education for all brought the government in December 2002 to agree to bring a new Federal Right that again stated but now more sharply that “The state shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age 6 to 14 years in such manner as the state may, by law, determine“.
Since 2002 this constitutional amendment has been discussed. The last change in the legislative framework of reaching primary education for all children between 6 and 14 years was taken in Aug 4, 2009 when the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Bill was passed in both houses of parliament, Rajya and Lok Sabhas.. This means that the right to basic education for all in India has never been legally implemented until now, 2009 .
Three recent reforms in delivering primary education to all
Alongside these legal controversies between the centre government and states, reforms in delivering basic education to all in India have been implemented once every decade since 1986. These national reforms are important as they affect the teaching and teaching management conditions and as they provide important lessons to be learned from their objectives, implementation techniques and results. All three reforms include training of teachers in some respect which will have a role my research on teacher education reforms.
Operation Blackboard 1986- 1991
In the 1980s Operation Blackboard (OB) was launched with great hopes to distribute modern Teaching and Learning Equipment (TLE), better school buildings and improved teacher training for inspirational child centered learning, esp. in science. The implementation of OB is well researched by Caroline Dyer . Her findings of why the expensive reform failed its promises will be essential to my research:
1) the Indian (and Western technical rational/modern) approach to implementation was flawed as it adhered to a strict top-down chain of command without considerations of timing, context and people,
2) teachers were not involved in the process
District Primary Education Programme (DPEP) 1994- 2008
DPEP was an initiative led by the central government (funded by the World Bank, EU, UK and Holland), in order to build more schools and to reach poor children, child labourers, under-privileged girls etc. Its results are well covered by Vimala Ramachandran with colleagues in 2004 who found that the high hopes were not reached but it was not an expensive failure like OB . The initiative had been a success looking at the number of new schools, 160 000. Half of them are non-formal Alternative Schools (AS) though that gives lesser quality to the poor and less privileged and the 177 000 new teachers have been recruited in the scheme include “para-teachers” with little formal education. DPEP established to some extent separate non-formal schooling systems for the poor and rural children alongside the mainstream governmental schools/ private schools for the working and middle classes and private elite schools for the upper class. This is a recurring critique of many Indian educationists .
Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA, Universalization of Elementary Education) 2001 - present
This program for reaching all Indian children with “elementary education of satisfactory quality” (not necessarily schools though, see below) and provide better schools for nearly 200 millions children makes it one of the world’s largest education reform. More teachers are being recruited and trained under SSA guidance. Special attention is given to girls, computer training and children with special needs. SSA is building on the results of DPEP and has the same emphasis on non-formal schooling for some of the working, poor, rural and far reached children such as Education Guarantee Scheme and Alternative & Innovative Education with “bridge- courses” that enable hard to reach groups of children (tribal, rural, street, working etc.) to go to school (again). The good result of SSA is that 20 million more children are being brought to school since 2001. Most of them are first-generation learners. The gender gap has been reduced and more children are transitioning from primary to upper primary school. Many of India’s states are now either approaching universal primary enrollment or have already achieved it .
The Indian school system has grown quickly without much institutional scaffolding or financial input earlier in primary education. Secondary and tertiary schooling have been far better funded. Besides lack of physical infrastructure, the lack of skills and motivation by teachers has been in focus since the government’s New Policy of Education (NPE 1986).
“The malaise of the entire educational system was deep enough for the
NPE 1986 to address the lack of responsibility and accountability it perceived among teachers with a quite extraordinary sentence for a policy on education, for it was obviously not considered too self-evident to mention that:
‘All teachers should teach and all students study’”.
These three reforms packages have left interesting findings behind that will be useful in my study. Most interesting will be to study the parallel institutional structures of teacher training that were implemented by the reforms and how they affect the present state of teacher education in India.
3. Teacher education in India
Not long after the decision to legislate the universal right to education for all children in parliament June 2009, the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD, which rules over the central education sector) launched new ideas for teacher education. In Sept. 2009 a ministry decision was put forward to convert the existing district teacher training institutions (DIETs, District Institutes of Educational Training) into academically affiliated colleges in order to meet current shortages of qualified teachers .
India faces a shortage of 200 000 teachers in primary education up to class 5. About 10- 12 percent of the current 571 DIETs are waiting to be upgraded to academic institutions through the national educational body National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT). Apart from 60-70 new more academic teacher education colleges, nine more Regional Institutes of Education will be constructed by 2017. Today there are five in all India.
This reform package is the central focus of my research but first some remarks about the system of teacher education in India..
Before 2000, teacher education for elementary teachers were first established by the government administrative institutions rather than those of higher education. Later private agencies of various kinds joined issuing certificates and diplomas after short courses. 1-2 years diplomas were common and are still in use for primary school teacher.
For secondary school teachers, a one year post- graduate B.Ed. program was formed, also by private agencies or by the government. Universities also had their own departments, which gave B.Ed. degrees. Some M.Ed. programs existed also along with experiments with four-year programs for both elementary and secondary school teachers, but none of these programs could meet the demand or provide teachers of enough quality and quantity. The aim of the proposed teacher education reform by MHRD is to launch a four-year program modelled on Delhi University’s Bachelors in Elementary Education course.
After the new National Policy on Education 1986, the existing District Level Resource Centres which provided various types of pre- and in service training were converted to District Institutes of Educational Training to serve districts. At the state level, some 30 SCERTs were founded, State Councils of Educational Research and Training, as early as 1964. Later five Regional Institutes of Education was set up that help states in their region to frame school curricula and produce textbooks among other tasks.
The overall ambition of DIET is to provide elementary school teachers with a two-year program (12+2) and a one-year post-degree program for secondary school teachers. The Ministry of Human Resource Department stated in their guidelines that the DIETs are to provide:
1. Training and orientation of the following target groups: elementary school teachers; head teachers; Education Department officers up to Block level; Non formal education and adult education instructors and supervisors; members of district boards of education and village education committees; other community volunteers; and resource persons who will conduct suitable programmes at centres other than DIET.
2. Academic and resource support to the elementary and adult education systems in the districts in other ways.
3. Action research and experimentation to deal with specific problems within the district in achieving objectives for elementary and adult education .
The DIETs were not efficient enough as the management, professionalism and logistics of delivering the right outcomes could not be done for various reasons, among them staffing problems. Some DIET teacher trainers were transferred there without notice. An example from 1999:
“DIET posts either lay empty or were filled by by transferring into them teachers who had the necessary [academic/JSR remark] qualifications, even if they showed no interest and did not apply for the post: ‘They pushed us. We got transferred. We didn’t know what it [the DIET] was’/…/ Thus overnight in several cases, a higher secondary school teacher became a primary teacher trainer” .
While many DIETs declined, the market for private teacher training establishments mushroomed to reach, including governmental institutions, more than 7000 institutions in 2007. The response from the national governing educational agency NCERT which gave the private alternatives legal credibility was to inspect, accredit and sometimes criticize. “…there has been a drift towards the commercialization of teacher education, with not all privately managed institutions having mainly professional motives in mind in this regard” as the former NCERT director J.S. Rajput and his colleague K.Valia wrote in 2000 .
But they continued saying that the governmental system of teacher education itself needed revision:
“At the management and policy levels, however, effective action has been taken to ‘overhaul the system’ and to introduce culture specific pedagogy. In fact, it has been found that efforts to consolidate existing structures take precedence over essential professional considerations./…/The issues of manpower planning, pre-service education programs and that of the in-service education of teachers need to be handled in a much more comprehensive manner than is currently the case. A comprehensive national plan of action for the reform of teacher education needs to be developed and effectively implemented to ensure continuity of improvements within the system .
At the same time, confidence in teacher education institutions seemed to run out at another top level, India’s Planning Commission. In the current Five Year Plan the critique of the DIET structure is devastating:
“DIETs have not justified their existence in terms of outcomes despite their existence for about two decades. DIETs were in acute shortage of quality faculty and several DIETs were headless during the10th plan. Structural problems and the absence of linkages with higher education seem to have isolated DIETs from current trends in research as well as from the academic community. The quality of teacher training leaves much to be desired/…/ It appears that quality faculty for DIETs need to be outsourced…”
The reasons for creating private and non-governmental initiatives in teacher training as well as in the schooling system are the poor performance of government institutions in these areas. Regarding schools, an increasing number of poor parents would rather pay 50 Rupees ($1)/month sending their child to a private school rather than to a dysfunctional government school, even if the latter gives out free lunches and rations of rice for monthly pupil attendance. The same goes for government teacher training institutions but here much research is needed.
Reasons for not sending children to government schools have recently been discussed in terms of teachers’ accountability and skills more recently. Renowned development scholars and economists Jean Dreze and Amartya Sen started the academic debate on schools without teachers or with teachers not teaching in their book Indian development in 1996. Even more evidence was shown in 1999 when the PROBE report revealed that around 25% of all Indian teachers were absent from their schools, or present but not teaching. Six years later in 2004 the figure was the same, but what is more worrying is that when the teachers are present, they spend more than half the time not teaching .
Teacher absenteeism is prelevalent is many developing countries. But Indian teachers are more absent than colleagues in comparable countries such as Peru (11%), Bangladesh (16%), Indonesia (19%) but slightly more present than Ugandian teachers (27% absence) . Bangladesh, a neighbouring country with similar culture, and until 1947 a part of British India, is rated according to GDP at noumber 60 while India is number 10 on World Bank ratings but Indian teachers are much less professional. The standard of living can not be the only reason for the apparent difference in teachers’ reliability.
If teachers are better educated will they then more often go to school? And while there also teach? This rationale is of course behind the current reforms of upgrading the DIETs to academic standards. But evidence tell a different story. In a recent study by the World Bank of three Indian states it was found that the more educated teachers were less present at their schools than less educated teachers . The more hard working but less educated teachers were not only younger but also more often female and of lower social class (caste in India). Other studies confirm that un-skilled para-teachers may do as good a job teaching as qualified teachers .
4. Earlier research on teacher education and global perspectives
Little research, many studies
Academic research on contemporary Indian teacher education is rare. Not one research book on teacher education in India is mentioned in the 11 pages bibliography in a study made in April 2009 . There are studies on what kind of research topics teacher trainers themselves chose, where among others, the teacher education system itself is one of many topics . One recent book on teacher education in India is available but it has little research perspectives, Jagannath Mohanty’s Teacher education from 2003 . None of these publications qualify as research material although they give some clues as to what Indian teacher education is about.
Research and scientific evaluations on reforms and implementations in India could be useful in my research as they give clues to generic challenges and issues in different sectors: health, infrastructure, social problems etc. These studies are much more abundant but hard to review here. Nandan Nilekani’s Imagining India is as useful recent guide to academic research on Indian development and possible changes.
There are abundant research studies and policy evaluations done on the goals and results on national and international programs for providing basic education for all like OB, DPEP, SSA and many other mass education programs. In these studies, teachers’ skills and knowledge and sometime teacher education are mentioned but not in focus.
There is one exception though. Academic research on such a reform program (OB) with a perspective on teacher education has been done by Caroline Dyer in 1990s. She has since then continued research on DIETs and Indian teachers’ professional challenges. None of her later publications have been book length studies though. Dyer (2005) which specifically studies teacher education and DIETs confirm the need for an in depth study of the Indian teacher education system as it not only tells of its failure but also of success.
Other much valued sources for my research are the policy reports, evaluation studies and funded studies made by Vimala Ramachandran with colleagues at ERU- Consultants (Educational Resource Unit). Their work is centered on school reforms and teachers . Here as in Dyer’s research there are much to use for further research on teacher education as the ERU studies confirm the need for attention and support. A quote from their 2005 study is representative: “Nearly all the teachers interviewed in Rajasthan said training was a burden – it was neither well planned nor did it cater to their needs” . Another also short but even more valuable empirical study of challenges of teacher training institutions was done as late as 2008 by Ramachandran with colleagues .
The kind of material ERU consultants and others who get funding bring is useful for my purposes as they collect statistics and interview teachers and teacher educators along with their other tasks. What need to be added are theoretical perspectives and academic research methods.
Development in teacher education is also an academic subject in many countries and international organizations that deal with educational policy: UNESCO, Unicef, OECD, World Bank, Ngo: s etc. What is dealt with below is a selection.
Not all studies on teacher education are relevant. Purely Western studies tend to be more personal and critical in their appraisal of the teacher education system. Others can be useful for their structural approach and professional vision, such as Michael Fullan’s and Andy Hargreaves’ works . Although researchers on teacher development and teacher education like Fullan and Hargreaves are Western in their approach, some angles of their research on teacher thinking and teachers’ are relevant, especially as the Indian reforms aim for the teacher trainers and teachers to become more professional and academic, and deal with other challenges than logistics and media covering malpractice or absent colleagues.
Evaluation studies of teacher education reforms in developing countries are more useful though. A recent UNESCO report on “teacher learning” gives an overview of the challenges and results from all over the world facing teacher education institutions and governments . Many references are given to research in Latin America, Africa and Asia. For developing countries there are four special attentions:
1) Cost-effectiveness, 2) mix of career and contract teachers, 3) mentoring and other support for apprenticeship and the competence of teacher educators. Improving the recruitment, preparation, performance and retention of teacher educators is a priority.
The UNESCO report stands neutral towards upgrading of teacher training institutions as the reformed DIETs into colleges/university departments, which is in focus of my study. There is little evidence that non-academic, academic institutions, or on-the-job apprenticeship is any better than the other . But the report tries to clear a middle path between the neo-conservative proponents of lesser teacher education (in the West more prelevalent in the Reagan- Thatcher era 1980s) and the more cautious educationists that propose longer teacher education to solve lack of skills, accountability and obsolete knowledge in teachers.
Another angle of research useful to India is comparison with China. In a 2001 anthology New teacher education for the future: International perspectives, Dr.Y.C. Cheng from Hong Kong argues for a paradigm shift in teacher education globally . The paradigm consists of providing future pupils and students with “Contextualized Multiple Intelligences” (referring to Howard Gardner), using “Tripilization” (becoming all “Localized, Individualized, Globalized”). Using global digital networks, teacher educators would be expected to meet the tripilized students, schools and institutions in the next century . This approach from Hong Kong may not be representative of Chinese teacher education and seem far from most Indian teacher training institutions. But it is always useful to compare India and China. The ambitions from Hong Kong may be where some Indian higher education institutions want to place themselves (IITs, IIMs).
Other Western studies on teacher education are more geared towards what it means personally to be a teacher educator, professional challenges and opportunities . These studies are critical (using theorists from Piaget and Vygotsky to Barthes and Derrida) and self-critical in their ambitions.
There is a recent Swedish semi- academic contribution on teacher education in Asia that could be useful for my research, Exploring teacher education in Laos . This booklet contains nine reports by MA students from Laos who have finished their studies at Stockholm Institute of Education (now a part of Stockholm university). Referring to the conditions for teacher educators in Laos, the Swedish editor Gunnar Sundgren writes that the teacher educators in developing countries has to deal with a pre-modern, a modern and a late modern, globalized era at the same time. This flickering image of living and teaching in parallel times are applicable to India too, especially with the “CMI – tripilization” scenario from Hong Kong above.
5. Theory, methodology and research questions
Research on teacher education has mostly used regular educational theories. There are studies on teacher education methodology, their subject knowledge, didactic and teaching skills, and on teacher education as a professional formation for teacher trainees. The studies on teacher education reforms are largely on macro level and use theories generated in the human and social sciences widely.
Two kinds of approaches will be dealt with that has evolved from curriculum studies, broadly defined. Last an approach from policy and organizational research will be presented.
Discourse analytical approaches
Curriculum theory, discourse analysis and educational regimes of power are approaches that has emerged as useful concepts to analyze teacher education. Thomas Popkewitz has made a 1993 study, Changing patterns of power. Social regulation and teacher education reform . Eight countries were studied, all Western (including Sweden). The focus is to present reforms in teacher education as an arena for struggles of power relations, state governance and public discourse on students’ achievements. The diagram below shows this arena.
Horizon of construction of the education arena
Social Teacher education arena (“The state”)
Actors Discursive practices
Formulation of policy Realization of policy
Agencies of certification
Professional groups Research groups
Depts. of education Policy statements
Administrative statistics and measurement
Distinctions that make the “common sense” of teaching/schooling
Production of regulation through the relation of practices (discursive and institutional)
This Foucauldian grid slots various segments into boxes and then try to pose relations between them. Crucial is the regulation of power through discourse. Indian policies are probably useful to analyze in discourse analysis and this have been done on education as well as in other areas of related research .
Research on teacher education in Sweden has used discourse analysis. Anita Eriksson’s dissertation in 2009 Om teori och praktik i lärarutbildning. En etnografisk och diskursanalystisk studie is one of several studies. Sweden has for some reason many examples of this theoretical approach on teacher education, coming from France via USA. But we also have our own Swedish curriculum theory.
Frame factor theory
More than 40 years ago Urban Dahllöf and Ulf P. Lundgren started the Swedish curriculum theory that came to be know internationally in the 1970s as “ the frame factor theory” (“ramfaktorteorin”) .
This theory started with micro level studies of classroom achievements related to policy goals in national curricula and was much used 1970 to 1990. Although teacher education rarely had been in focus, there is a dissertation from 1996, Agneta Linné’s historical study of 19th century Swedish teacher training . There may be other applications of frame factor theory to teacher education as it deals with governance and curricula on a macro level.
The general approach of the later stages of the frame factor theoretical approach could be useful in analysing reforms such as in India. The frame factor approach seems more useful in evaluative and historical studies. But the categories and processes in theory could also be useful in analysing the ongoing implementation of teacher education reforms. The curriculum to be introduced in the more academic teacher education in India has certain qualities that are framed in certain ways in relation to policy, time, possible results etc. In relation to discursive analysis the frame factor theory has overlappings that may make them both useful to my research. The evaluative character of the early frame factor approach seems useful with its emphasis on processes as well as its later developments in theory and explanative evaluations of higher education .
Implementation theory and backward mapping
Outcomes of reforms have of course been central in initiatives for change. Implementation and policy are related but not always seen as equally important. “Top- down” strategies vs. “bottom- up” have different perspectives. A softer kind of top-down approach is the “bargaining and conflict model” that accepts the dirtiness of implementation, views resistance as rational and useful sometimes, but the last decision is in the hands of the top.
Theories of implementation are rare even if we have seen more during the later decades in American policy research. “Implementation research is long on description and short on prescription,” wrote Richard Elmore 1980 . Elmore suggested however an idea related more to “bottom-up” strategies that later was used by Caroline Dyer in her research on the implementation of Operation Blackboard in Indian schools in the 1990s.
The idea is called “Backward mapping” and Dyer used it to understand the process from policy to practice in Indian reform implementation . Policy implementation is not much valued in Indian bureaucracy, as the process is understood to be a logical chain from centre to village levels with rational links in between. Western organisational models are also affected by this mode of thinking and execution. In developing countries policy decision is viewed as more prestigious than practice and India is no exception, rather more hierarchical than other countries.
Backward mapping then begins with “a statement of the specific behaviour at the lowest level of the implementation process that generates the need for a policy” . The process of mapping then works backwards asking each level and unit there what ability it “has to affect the behaviour that is the target of the policy and what resources it would require to do so” .
The policies and outcomes from implementation is then commented, understood and influenced at each level. Dyer’s study on OB using backwards mapping tracking teachers, teacher trainers, DIET principals and administrative officers is of very much use in my research.
Backward mapping is one of several methods used in implementation research although the amount of implementation theories as such is quite few still . Others are game theory that may be useful to understand suboptimal dynamics between institutions and their relations of trust. In that sense, game theory can be a heuristic device. Indian Nobel laureate Amartya Sen’s work on access to food and influence in India relies on game theory and could be an inspiration as well as Swedish political scientist Bo Rothstein’s work on social trust and building reliable governing institutions.
Contextual interaction theory is another approach used in implementation studies that could be useful but its grand vision of encapsulating many variables seems too complicated.
What is crucial in all theories of implementation is that policy makers should include the implementation factor when planning a new policy in order to reform a set of institutions. To learn from implementation and inject outcomes along the process into the organisation (in this case NCERT, NCTE, SCERTs, higher education etc.) would be using the concept of learning organisations. This approach is yet another theoretical perspective that comes from organisation and management theory, but it seems necessary to point out that teacher education institutions and governing bodies in education should be able to learn too .
Given these approaches from theory, what questions are interesting and possible to research? Whether the approach is curriculum analysis of some kind, or an implementation study the data must come from quantitative and qualitative sources.
How do teachers, teacher trainers, educationists, DIET/SCERT staff and others view the reform and the implementation?
How are the DIETs introduced in the academic curriculum of affiliated colleges/universities?
How are new teachers being more accountable in their profession with reformed DIETs?
What are the professional tasks of local, regional, state and national institutions of teaching and learning in the new upgraded system of teacher education?
Are academically qualified teacher educators more capable of teaching the skills and knowledge that primary school teachers need?
What are the governing reasons for upgrading 70 DIET institutions to teacher education colleges?
How do the reforms relate to curricula in schools? To global education trends?
What do the “academisation” of teacher education mean for India as a “knowledge society “?
What powers and factors are determining these reforms?
How to explain the relations of reforms in higher education to reforms in primary and secondary education?
How are development of teaching, teachers and teacher educators understood in terms of pedagogy and curricula?
6. Research design
These notes are preliminary and will change according to circumstances.
Application to Department of education, Stockholm university Nov 1009/ April 2010.
2010, preparatory visit to India. Courses at IIE.
2011, fieldwork in India
2012, fieldwork in India
2013. Courses at IIE/ Indian university and writing/ fieldwork in India
2014. Courses at IIE . Writing dissertation in Sweden and India.
Educational Research Unit - ERU consultants, India.
Politics and International Studies (POLIS) at the University of Leeds (C. Dyer)
National Council for Educational Research and Training, India
Ministry of Human Resources Development, Government of India
World Bank, India
Pratham, Indian educational NGO
Azim Premji foundation, Indian educational NGO
National University of Educational Planning and Administration, India
Interviews would be conducted with a representative selection of staff and faculty at the reformed DIETs and the receiving colleges/universities. Given that 70 DIETs are to be reformed all of them will be reached by mail or phone. Focus on three Indian states not present in other studies would be useful, eg. North-east, by eastern coastline and in the Himalayas. On the other hand, the very poor states in the North- Western BIMARU cluster are essential to cover and maybe one of them could be included, for instance Uttar Pradesh Following a small set of DIETs through the process could be useful along with macro level studies on the Indian national arena for teacher education.
Data from policy makers and executors at all levels are collected and analyzed of course.
India has a standard of statistics on education and all government offices and schools are required to supply the level above with numbers. These statistics need to be evaluated but can be of use in my study. What cannot be reused are the data of the new colleges for teacher education since they do not exist yet. In that case my contribution may be a novelty to Indian research on teacher education, if nothing else.
Deepavali, October 18, 2009
* Thanks to Ruchie Chaturvedi, Caroline Dyer, Lars Naeslund and Vimala Ramachandran in preparation for this paper.
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Dyer, C and Choksi (2004) District Institutes of Education and Training; a comparative study of three Indian states. London: DFID Policy Division (Education papers)
Dyer, C, Choski, A et al. (2004) “Knowledge for teacher development in India: the importance of'local knowledge' for in-service education”. International Journal of Educational Development, vol 24 no 1.
Dyer, C (2005) “Decentralisation to improve teacher quality? District Institutes of Education and Training in India”. Compare, vol 35 (no 2). P. 143.
Dyer C.(2005), “Democratising Teacher Education Research in India “ Dyer, C., Choski, A et al. (2002). Comparative Education, vol 38 no 3,
Edwards A, Gilroy P. and Hartley D. (2002) Rethinking teacher education : collaborative responses to uncertainty. New York: RoutledgeFalmer.,
Elmore, R. (1980) “Backward mapping: implementation research and policy decisions” Political science quarterly vol 94, no 4,
Fullan, M (2007) The new meaning of educational changeNew York: Teachers’ College press/ Routeledge.
Hanson M. (2001) “Institutional theory and educational change”, Educational administration quarterly , vol 37, no 5.
Jha, M.M. (2007) “The right to education. Developing the common school system in India” , International perspectives on educational diversity and inclusion: studies from America, Europe and India ,. Verma, G.K ,. Bagley C. R and. Jha M.M (eds), London: Routledge.
Kumar, R, (ed.).(2006) The crisis in elementary education in India New Delhi: Sage Publications
Mohanty, J (2003) Teacher education New Delhi: DEEP & DEEP Publications.
Nilekani, N(2009) Imagining India New Delhi: Penguin.
O’Toole L.J. (2004) The theory – practice issue in policy implementation research, Public administration, vol 82, no 2.
Pandey, P. et al. (2008) Public participation, teacher accountability and school outcomes (Policy research working paper., South Asia Region, The World Bank
Pandey, S. (2004) “Teacher education researches in developing countries: a review of Indian studies”, Journal of education for teaching. Vol 30, no 3.
Pedagogisk forskning (1999) vol 4, no 1
Popkewitz T. ed. (1993) Changing patterns of power. Social regulation and teacher education reform Albany: SUNY press.
Rajput, J.S. and Walia, K. “Reforms in teacher in India”, Journal of Educational Change (2000) Vol 2, p. 246.
Ramachandran, V. and Sethi, H,(2001) , Rajasthan Shiksha Karmi Project. An overall appraisal. Swedish International Development Agency: Stockholm,
Ramachandran, V (ed.) (2004). Gender and social equality in primary education. Hierarchies of success. New Delhi: Sage publications
Ramachandran V. and Pal M. et. al (2005) Teacher motivation in India New Delhi: ERU Consultants
Ramachandran, V. Bhattarcharjea, S. and Sheshagiri, K.M. (2009), Primary school teachers. The twists and turns of everyday practice. Unpublished manuscript for project supported by Azim Premji Foundation. New Delhi: ERU consultants,
Ramachandran, V and Sharma, R (eds.) (2009). The elementary education system in India. Exploring institutional structures, processes and dynamics. Routledge: New Delhi, page 281.
Rogers, F.H and Vegas, E, No more cutting class ? Policy research working paper (2009) Development research group, Education team, The World Bank
Russell, T and Loughran, J, eds. (2007) Enacting a pedagogy of teacher education : values, relationships and practices New York: Routeledge.
Sankar, Deepa. (2007) What is the progress in elementary education in India during the last two decades? South Asia Human development, World Bank
Sharma R. (2000) “Decentralisation, professionalism and the school system in India. Economic and political weekly, vol 35, no 42.
Sjunnesson Jan, (2001) Digital learning portfolios: inventory and proposal for Swedish teacher education Uppsala: Uppsala Learning Lab, Uppsala university/ Wallenberg Global Learning Network.
Sjunnesson Rao, Jan (2006) “Lärares kompetensutveckling: bakgrund, begrepp, belysning” in Zetterström, Annika Att pröva och ompröva. Uppsala: Institutionen för lärarutbildning, Uppsala universitet
Sundgren Gunnar, ed., (2008) Exploring teacher education in Laos Stockholm: Stockholms universitets förlag.
The Telegraph Sept 10, 2009. Calcutta.
XI Five year plan, (2007-2012) Planning Commission, Government of India.
UNESCO Global perspectives on teacher learning: improving policy and practice (2007). Paris: UNESCO – International Institute for educational planning (IIEP).
UNESCO (2008) School clusters and teacher resource centres Paris: UNESCO – IIEP
Notes (thoug not edited for html):
According to Pratham, an influential educational NGO in their 2008 ASER report at www.pratham.org . The World Bank states the level of out of school children to 10 % and UNESCO to 6%. Statistics on teachers and enrolment are taken from the XIth five year plan made by the Planning Commission, Government of India.
Nilekani, N. Imagining India (2009) New Delhi: Penguin, p. 174. No original source given. Former IT- CEO Nilekani’s much praised book is relevant for up to date information on Indian business, society, history and future aspirations. See also his web http://imaginingindia.com/
Op cit., p. 177
http://education.nic.in/articles/article45+.htm. See also “The right to education. Developing the common school system in India” by Jha, M.M. (2007) in International perspectives on educational diversity and inclusion: studies from America, Europe and India / edited by G.K. Verma, C. R. Bagley and M.M. Jha , London: Routledge. The late
Dr. Jha was an imaginative IAS officer and Commissioner and Secretary of Education in Bihar, India 2004- 2008. His grand vision for schools in Bihar is stated in a slide show at http://www.knowledgecommission.gov.in/downloads/documents/PresentationSchoolEducation.ppt
Unnikrishnan vs. State of Andra Pradesh, Article 1993 Supreme Court of India 217
M. M. Jha, op cit., p 127.
The Federal Right no 21 A in the 86 Amendment to the Constitution. See http://education.nic.in/articles/article21A.htm
For a detailed history of the legal right to primary, see http://www.azimpremjifoundation.org/html/RtEOverview.htm
Dyer, Caroline, (2000) Operation Blackboard. Policy implementation in Indian elementary education Oxford: Symposium books. The research was done in 1990s mostly in Gujarat.
Ramachandran, Vimala (ed.) (2004). Gender and social equality in primary education. Hierarchies of success. New Delhi: Sage publications
Representing a common critical view, see Kumar, Ravi (ed.) (2006) The crisis in elementary education in India New Delhi: Sage Publications, ch. 1-2. The alternative to separate schooling systems is to have what the Kothari Education Commission (1964-66) unequivocally recommended, a Common School System with neighbourhood schools like Western government schools. Nonetheless, to criticize the solution of para-teachers without paying attention to the fact that some para-teachers do well, or even better, than trained teachers is too easy. Secondly, the availability of alternative non-formal solutions for reaching street and labouring children are essential since without these innovative solutions these children would not be reached at all.
Sankar, Deepa. (2007) What is the progress in elementary education in India during the last two decades? South Asia Human development, World Bank
Quoted in Dyer 2000, p. 33.
Note on terminology: teacher education refers here to academic programmes and the whole system of teacher education. Teacher training refers to other institutions that provide teachers with pre-service and in-service training, including the governmental DIETs.
HRD Minister K. Sibal in The Telegraph Sept 10, 2009, www.telegraphindia.com/1090911/jsp/nation/story_11481659.jsp# . The process of converting semi-academic teacher training institutions to academic departments was done in 1950- 1960 in Sweden. Some independent teacher training institutions were affiliated as late as 2007, eg. Lärarhögskolan i Stockholm to my current employer Stockholm university.
From Dyer, C (2005) “Decentralisation to improve teacher quality? District Institutes of Education and Training in India”. Compare, vol 35 (no 2). P. 143.
Op cit. p. 144. An interesting challenge for the upgrading of DIETs to academic levels is where the new academically qualified teacher educators will be found. As for now, two in every three DIETs in eastern India have vacancies in more than 50 per cent of their sanctioned teaching posts. If the DIETs can not find enough people how will the new colleges of teacher education make it ? My research interest is centered around the functions and challenges of the new colleges and this is one of the most urgent topics to deal with for NCERT.
Rajput, J.S. and Walia, K.(2000) “Reforms in teacher in India”, Journal of Educational Change Vol 2, p. 246. Eight years 2008 later, the NCERT were ready to use all means to prevent the rivalry by “taking all necessary steps to prevent further commercialisation of teacher education” , Draft NCTE review committee report 2008. Government of India and NCERT, qouted in Ramachandran, V. Bhattarcharjea, S. and Sheshagiri, K.M. (2009), “Primary school teachers. The twists and turns of everyday practice”. Unpublished manuscript for project supported by Azim Premji Foundation. New Delhi: ERU consultants, p. 43.
Op cit., p. 252
XI Five year plan, (2007-2012) chapter Education, p. 19. Planning Commission, Government of India. http://planningcommission.nic.in
Dreze, Jean and Sen, Amartya (eds.) (1996), New Delhi: Oxford university press.
Public Report on Basic Education in India. The Probe 1999 report (1999) New Delhi : Oxford university press.
Ramachandran, Vimala and Sharma, Rashmi (eds.) (2009). The elementary education system in India. Exploring institutional structures, processes and dynamics. Routledge: New Delhi, page 281.
Rogers, F.H and Vegas, E., (2009 No more cutting class ? Policy research working paper. Development research group, Education team, The World Bank
Pandey, P- et al. (2008) Public participation, teacher accountability and school outcomes. Policy research working paper., South Asia Region, The World Bank
Ramachandran, Vimala and Sethi, Harsh, (2001) Rajasthan Shiksha Karmi Project. An overall appraisal. . Swedish International Development Agency: Stockholm, and Dougherty, S and Herd, R (2008) , Improving human capital formation in India . Economic department working paper. OECD . p.10
Ramachandran, Bhattacharjea and Sheshagiri (2009).
An overview from NCERT of more than 100 researches is Pandey, S. (2004) “Teacher education researches in developing countries: a review of Indian studies”, Journal of education for teaching. Vol 30, no 3. Curriculum studies of teacher education programmes confirm need for improvement. “A close scrutiny of these researches suggested that almost all the studies have pointed towards the irrelevance of the teacher education curriculum at different leveles”., p. 208. See also Rajput and Walia (2000).
New Delhi: DEEP & DEEP Publications. Mohanty’s book is not mentioned anywhere by in Dyer’s or Ramachandran’s publications though.
Dyer (1990), Dyer (2005), “Democratising Teacher Education Research in India “ Dyer, C., Choski, A et al. (2002). Comparative Education, vol 38 no 3, Dyer, C and Choksi (2004) District Institutes of Education and Training; a comparative study of three Indian states. London: DFID Policy Division (Education papers), and Dyer, C, Choski, A et al. (2004) “Knowledge for teacher development in India: the importance of'local knowledge' for in-service education”. International Journal of Educational Development, vol 24 no 1.
Ramachandran and Sethi (2000), Ramachandran (2004), Ramachandran and Sharma (2009), Ramachandran and Pal M. et. al (2005) Teacher motivation in India New Delhi: ERU Consultants and Ramchandran, Bhattarcharjea, and Sheshagiri (2009). See also Rashmi S. (2000) “Decentralisation, professionalism and the school system in India. Economic and political weekly, vol 35, no 42.
Ramachandran and Pal (2005), p. 38.
Ramachandran, Bhattacharjea and Sheshagiri (2009), p- 42- 50.
For example, Fullan, M. (2007) l The new meaning of educational change New York: Teachers’ College press/Routeledge. See also my review of Fullan and Hargreaves (1998) What is worth fighting for in education ? in Pedagogiska Magasinet (1999) no 2.
UNESCO (2007) Global perspectives on teacher learning: improving policy and practice. Paris: UNESCO – International Institute for educational planning (IIEP).
Op cit,. p 65. For perspectives on non-formal teacher learning, see also UNESCO (2008) School clusters and teacher resource centres Paris: UNESCO – IIEP and Sjunnesson Rao, Jan (2006) “Lärares kompetensutveckling: bakgrund, begrepp, belysning” in Zetterström, A. Att pröva och ompröva. Uppsala: Institutionen för lärarutbildning, Uppsala universitet.
Cheng, Y.C., Chow, K.W. and Tsui,. K.T. , eds. (2001) Hong Kong/Dordrecht: Hong Kong institute of education / Kluwer Academic Publishers.
For ICT used by teacher educators and teacher trainees, see Sjunnesson Jan, (2001) Digital learning portfolios: inventory and proposal for Swedish teacher education Uppsala: Uppsala Learning Lab, Uppsala university/ Wallenberg Global Learning Network.
Edwards A, Gilroy P and Hartley D (2002) Rethinking teacher education : collaborative responses to uncertainty. New York: RoutledgeFalmer., Beck, C and Kosnik, C(2006) Innovations in teacher education : a social constructivist approach Albany : SUNY press and Russell, T and Loughran, J, eds. (2007) Enacting a pedagogy of teacher education : values, relationships and practices New York: Routeledge.
Sundgren Gunnar, ed., (2008) Stockholm: Stockholms universitets förlag. The last chapter by Ms. Sivilay Phommachanh deals specifically with teacher education program and suggestions for improvement.
Popkewitz ed. (1993) Albany: SUNY press. The diagram is at p. 21.
Chopra R. and Jeffrey P. (eds.) (2005) Educational Regimes in Contemporary India. New Delhi: Sage, Sharma A. and Gupta A.(2006) The anthropology of the state. Oxford: Blackwell, and Jeffery, C. P. and R. (2008) Degrees Without Freedom? Education, Masculinities, and Unemployment in North India. Palo Alto: Stanford UP.
Eriksson A. (2009) Göteborg: Acta universitatis gothoburgensis, Göteborgs Universitet. Other recent dissertations with a discourse analytical approach to teacher education are Johansson A. (2009) Dialogues on the net : power structures in asynchronous discussion in the context of a web based teacher training course. Malmö: Malmö högskola and Åberg M. (2008) Lärardrömmar : om makt, mångfald och konstruktioner av lärarsubjekt. Karlstad: Mara förlag.
For references, see the theme issue “På återbesök i ramfaktorteorin” , Pedagogisk forskning (1999) vol 4, no 1, with English summaries.
Linné A. (1996) Moralen, barnet eller vetenskapen. Stockholm: HLS förlag. Dissertation at Lärarhögskolan i Stockholm.
Works by Franke-Wiberg S. alone and in collaboration Ulf P. Lundgren
Elmore, R. (1980) “Backward mapping: implementation research and policy decisions” Political science quarterly vol 94, no 4, p. 1
Dyer 2000 ch. 3 and Dyer (1999) “Researching the implementation of educational policy: a backward mapping approach”, Comparative education vol 35, no 1 and Dyer 2002 where the mapping is done explicit by young researchers interviewing teachers in a manner they never have tried before.
Elmore 1980, p. 604.
O’Toole L.J. (2004) The theory – practice issue in policy implementation research, Public administration, vol 82, no 2. O’Toole writes on the later development of Elmore’s backward mapping concept where Elmore also uses reversible logic as a tool for analysing implementation.
Hanson M. (2001) “Institutional theory and educational change”, Educational administration quarterly , vol 37, no 5.
“The National Knowledge Commission is a high-level advisory body to the Prime Minister of India, with the objective of transforming India into a knowledge society”. http://www.knowledgecommission.gov.in/