Paradigm Shift in Teacher Training With the Intervention of Open and Distance Learning Programmes

Paradigm Shift in Teacher Training With the Intervention of Open and Distance Learning Programmes

Anil K. Dimri (Indira Gandhi National Open University, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5631-2.ch086
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In the present chapter an attempt has been made to discuss the teacher's education and training offered through Distance mode of learning and the response of the teachers to these programmes. Efforts of various committees and commissions to strengthen teacher education are also presented. IGNOU offers variety of programmes through ODL pertaining to teacher education, at different level which are offered based on the principle of networking, resource sharing and convergence. Attempt has also been made to analyse learners interest in different programmes offered through ODL by IGNOU during last three academic years and it has been noticed that there was overwhelming response of the learners for majority of the programmes. The chapter also suggests indicative interventions which need to be addressed carefully in the changing scenario particularly with the shift towards Open Education Resource (OER) and Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) with unlimited participation and open access through web which provide interactive user forums to support community interactions among stake holders.
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Teacher education and training is very crucial for the sustainable development of the society. Therefore, development of quality education is strongly associated with the issues of teacher education and training. A teacher plays very significant role to shape the pace of the society for its sustainable development, therefore a teacher has tremendous responsibility not only to transect curriculum but also inculcate values of life among the students who will contribute for the growth and development of the society in such a way that available natural resources are optimally utilized and also preserved for further generation. In present day scenario when the relation of teachers with the students are losing ground day by day to a great extent the role and responsibility of teacher become more important and challenging (Clark, 1983). Although several initiatives have been taken to impart training to the untrained and in service teachers by establishing teacher training institutions at different level in developing country like India, nevertheless, with the diverse ethno-cultural, geophysical and socio-economic conditions uniform training programme across the nation has always been daunting task. Therefore, it has been reported in the several reports that there are a large number of un trained and under trained teachers in the country predominantly at primary to higher secondary level. In India, in the recently time teacher education has become commercial activity due to mushrooming of private Universities and institutions with a motive to mint money resulting diminution in the quality of education.

Therefore, in the prevailing circumstances the teachers’ training institution may help a lot to do this task to serve the society in a more systematic manner with the intention to bring qualitative change in the pre- service and in service teachers training. In the education policy the importance of the teachers’ training has not only been emphasized but it has also been realized that the teacher’s education needs to be given proper attention (Passi, 2000). The face to face training may lead a large number of teachers out of the teaching for considerable period of time which may have adverse effect on school education. Nevertheless, in the prevailing circumstances, the philosophy of Open and Distance Learning (ODL) with its resource sharing, networking and convergence may bring paradigm shift in the teacher education and training with its cost effective, modular training programmes and this will also ensure the sustainable development.

Education itself is an evolution, which continued to evolve, diversify and extend its reach since the inception of mankind, therefore every state has developed a system of education which suits to its socio-culture, geo-physical and socio-economic to ethnic conditions. It has been realized that human resource is a valuable natural resource which needs to be developed, cherished and nurtured in such a way that the desired result of development percolates down to society in terms of diffusion of resources by harnessing science and technology. The ultimate goal is to provide better option of livelihood to mankind in terms of innovation and diffusion (Harichandan, 2000).

Therefore at present teaching profession demands specialization not only in terms of knowledge and skills, but expression of the same in acceptable manner in order to through light on all the targeted populace and capture their attention. The existing gap between theory and the practice is to be bridged with knowledge and skills of teaching in the actual classroom curriculum transaction. Therefore, teaching needs to be augmented with well thought teaching learning aids making learning joyful (Torres, 1996). This objective can be achieved with proper training and orientation of teachers, therefore training of teachers is paramount in order to reform teacher education in general and teacher training in particular. Teacher Education has always been a primary concern since independence, therefore teacher education policy is the result of recommendations of various reports of the Committees/Commissions on education, the important ones being the Kothari Commission (1966), the Chattopadhyay Committee (1985), National Policy on Education (NPE 1986/92), Acharya Ramamurthi Committee (1990), Yashpal Committee (1993), and the National Curriculum Framework (NCF, 2005). The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009, which became operational from 1st April, 2010, has important implications on teacher education in the country (Khan, 1998).

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