Teacher Professional Development in India

Gandhe, S K
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Way back in 1990 the World Education Meet held in Jomtien, Thailand, outlined the World Declaration on Education For All, declaring that every child, youth and adult has the human rights to benefit from education that will meet his/her basic learning needs in the best and fullest sense of the term ‘education’ which includes learning to know, to do, to live together and to be. // The Dakar Declaration, 2000, besides reaffirming the goals set up for the EFA at Jomtien in 1990 laid special emphasis on the quality aspects. Thus it advocated that by 2015 all children including girls should have access to and complete free and compulsory primary education of good quality, and improve all aspects of quality education and essential life skills. A review of the work done in the last one decade or so brings forth the fact that despite Jomtien’s commitment to an “expanded version of basic education” EFA was generally interpreted to be centred around formal schooling of children. The goal of UPE tended to be centred round enrolment indicators with insufficient attention to retention, completion and effective learning. Quality aspects also seem to have been relegated to a back seat. Quality however is an elusive criterion. // Quality improvement is closely related to teacher professional development. In a recent UNESCO publication attempt has been made to collate various definitions of TPD which is in fact defined as “professional growth a teacher achieves as a result of gaining increased experience and examining his or her teaching systematically.” The concept of professional development is broader than career development which is defined as the growth that occurs as the teacher moves through professional career cycle. Sometimes staff development is considered synonymous to professional development though staff development is generally used in reference to in-service training. The UNESCO publication brings forth several characteristics of professional development such as constructivism, long term process, process that takes place within a particular context, intimate linkage to school reform, encouragement, reflective practice, a collaborative effort, a different look in different settings // The term professional development seems to have been derived from the management education literature, and has a respectable standing in the context of trade, commerce, industry and more particularly productivity, marketing, human resource development , etc. Its use in the field of education per se is of relatively recent origin. Professional development does not necessarily link development to organizational interests but is directed to the individual’s personal growth for use in wider fields.

Teacher Education,Professional Development,Formal Education