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Education is the means for developing the mind for the betterment of the individual and society. The ideal of education has been very grand, noble and high in ancient India. Its aim, according to Herbert Spencer is the 'training for completeness of life' and the molding of character of men and women for the battle of life. The aim of education was at the manifestation of the divinity in men, it touches the highest point of knowledge. In order to attain the goal the whole educational method is based on plain living and high thinking pursued through eternity.
Education has long been recognized as a critical mechanism for achieving development goals: it is generally agreed that many problems in the world, like the population explosion and the climate crisis, are connected with education. The school is a natural formation, not artificially constituted. The constant and intimate association between teacher and student is vital to education as conceived in this system. The pupil imbibes the inward method of the teacher, the secrets of his efficiency, the spirit of his life and work.
The word Upanishad itself suggests that it is learning got by sitting at the feet of the master. Teacher occupied a pivotal position in the Vedic System of education. The teacher was a parent surrogate (Parent Substitute), a facilitator of learning, exemplar and inspirer, confident, detector, friend and philosopher, moral educator, reformer, evaluator, character and personality builder, importer of knowledge and wisdom and above all a guru, religious and spiritual guide. The relationship between the teachers and pupil was regarded as filial in character. Teacher was the spiritual father of his pupils. In addition to imparting intellectual knowledge to them, he was also morally responsible. A teacher was the sole pedagogic authority to decide whether the student was fit for admission and also to decide whether he had completed his studies. During the formative period of the modern educational systems in Europe and America, the pedagogy of the Hindus, especially on its elementary side, has played an important part.
* Principal/Director, Sri Guru Harkrishan Sr. Sec. Public School, G.T. Road, Amritsar.
The 21st century seems quite different than the 20th in the capabilities, people, need for work, citizenship, and self-actualization. When an institution is committed to change, it usually means a long term commitment to sustainable transformations of its system of activity. In response, society's educational systems must transform their objectives, curricula, pedagogies, and assessments to help all students attain the sophisticated outcomes. We must be fully committed in promoting the adoption of progressive teaching and learning strategies to support improved student outcomes. According to Professor Yashpal, a famous Indian scientist, "We have for long followed a system of education that is detached from life." To make education life oriented and to make it more meaningful, CBSE has introduced school based Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation scheme. The new CCE scheme aims at the holistic development of the child. As it is curricular initiative it will give primacy to the students' experiences, their voices and their active participation.
In nowadays moving reality, the term pedagogy - the art or science of being a teacher - refers not only to strategies or styles of instruction but also to the facilitation and management of sustainable transformations, whether individual, social, structural or institutional. In this respect, most pedagogies should be regarded as inherently formative with respect to the role they play in the development of individuals, but their trans-formative dimension deserves to be clarified, revisited and eventually bent with regard to a) the responsibility of educators to transcend their traditional role and expand the scope of their work towards an active participation to knowledge advancement, and b) the role given to information and communications technologies (ICT) to act as mediating artifact of emerging networked educational systems, supporting peer-to-peer collaboration as well as learners' autonomy and responsibility for learningÂ . Far from this conception of the curriculum based on a "mind-as-a-container" vision strongly criticized by many researchers in education transformative pedagogy advocate an evolving, socially constructed curriculum, understood as a set of values and beliefs reflecting power relations between competing cultures. The consequence of this change of standpoint is the re-introduction in pedagogy of new forms of subjectivity, based on a multi-voiced, negotiated vision of knowledge, subject to power relations that determine what is to be considered the truth.
Transformative pedagogy considers co-evolving social and technical processes from a systemic viewpoint in an evolutionary perspective of education and culture, allowing to build meaning and capacity through community development, support and networking. Capacity emerges from a synergy between availability of resources, commitment to meaningful projects and human communities to bring these projects to life. In this regard, the objects of transformative pedagogies take essentially the form of innovative methodologies (acting as conceptual artifacts) for crossing boundaries between strategies of instruction on the one hand, and management of sustainable transformations at the three levels of the individual, the group and the organization, on the other.
Utilizing contemporary facilities to their full potential requires creative forward thinking, collaborative planning, research and professional sharing. The first element of transforming pedagogy and space is 'Dream'.
This is about creating a shared vision for the future of the schools. The second element of transforming pedagogy and space is 'Invest'. It encourages schools to identify, explore, train with, trial and reflect upon leading pedagogical approaches, such as Collaborative Teaching and Learning and Guided Inquiry Learning. It involves action research, professional development and professional discussion. This element has a focus upon building teaching and leadership capacity to support transformed teaching and learning.
The third element, 'Design' encourages schools to put in place the understandings developed throughout the Dream and Invest elements. The philosophies of the school are obvious for all to see throughout the workplace, and the aims and desires of the program move from words to action. The fourth element of pedagogical transformation is 'Share'. Sharing provides an opportunity for schools to celebrate the journey that they have undertaken and to share their experiences both within and outside of the local school community. Sharing promotes further growth and enables the system to move forward towards world leading practice.
For teachers to change their classroom practice in any radical way involves both modifying their classroom persona and embarking on a learning task of enormous magnitude. Changing one's routines involves a great deal of unlearning before one can begin to reconstruct new routines; and the experience is like going back to being a novice again with all of the difficulties of coping and maintaining classroom order but little of the tolerance and sympathy which is normally accorded to beginners.
The experience of disorientation and alienation is profound; and unless teachers are given considerable psychological and practical support over a long period, they will revert to their old familiar practice. Teachers today need to follow following Five Es:
*Engage * Explore * Explain * Elaborate * Evaluate
In today's era, higher order thinking needs to be cultivated among students. Higher-order thinking by students involves the transformation of information and ideas. This transformation occurs when students combine facts and ideas and synthesize, generalize, explain, hypothesize or arrive at some conclusion or interpretation. In helping students become producers of knowledge, the teacher's main instructional task is to create activities or environments that allow them opportunities to engage in higher-order thinking.
As computers became essential in the workplace and dribbled into schools, "computer literacy" entered the curriculum, usually in the form of an introduction to the new
vocabulary of bits and bytes, hardware and software. Computer courses focused on programming languages. "Keyboarding" replaced typing. The term "information literacy" first appeared in the mid-1970s as awareness grew that information was becoming an overwhelming and unmanageable deluge. In the 1980s, people realized that computers might be useful tools for organizing and retrieving information. In 1989, the American Library Association codified a definition which provided the basis for subsequent discussion: "To be information literate, a person must be able to recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information.". In other words, "literacy" implies more than vocabulary and awareness; it requires critical thinking. The explosive growth of technology in every aspect of society offers us a unique opportunity to engage our students in economic and civic life. Digital technologies have given us new and better ways to teach and learn. They have made us more efficient at work. And they are enabling us to participate more directly in the governance of our lives. In return, they demand that we continually acquire and develop new knowledge and skills. Information and communication technologies are raising the bar on the competencies needed to succeed in the 21st century, and they are compelling us to revisit many of our assumptions and beliefs.
We must recognize and accept the fact that knowledge is changing so fast that no traditional curriculum can sufficiently supply students with fact-based learning needed for the challenges they will face. Instead, we must teach them the skills to continue learning independently long after they are out of school. Classroom discourse will gain positive effect only when there is a strong cohesion between all the various elements of a teacher's work. The facilitation of productive classroom discourse is part of a larger matrix of the effective teacher's repertoire that allow students to develop habits of mind to engage productively and to make use of appropriate tools to support understanding. Teachers who set up communities of practice that are conducive to classroom discussion, come to understand their students better. Students benefit too and the ideas put forward in the classroom become rich resources for knowledge.
Through students' purposeful involvement in discourse, through listening respectfully to other students' ideas, through arguing and defending their own position, and through receiving and providing a critique of ideas, students enhance their own knowledge and develop their identities. Teachers who are able to provide such contexts simultaneously increase students' sense of control and develop valuable student dispositions. Schools need to create a supportive environment where difference is viewed positively and group identities are valued.
Contemporary literacy skills are too important to our students' future success to allow them to be ignored in the frenzy over high-stakes standardized testing. Library media specialists have an
opportunity and a responsibility to provide leadership for their administrators and teachers. They can inform by citing the above curricula and model the importance of contemporary literacy in the curriculum by using the skills with students and teachers working on information problem-solving activities. Media specialists can demonstrate the connections between the skills, national information literacy and educational technology standards. Education needs to be amalgamated with necessary information skills for the syatem to transform.
"Studies conducted in Alaska, Colorado, and Pennsylvania show that school media librarians and libraries help kids perform better on standardized tests." By accepting the leadership opportunity and responsibility, library media specialists can provide the means for students and teachers to achieve essential contemporary literacy skills.
Education system is extremely dynamic. It involves changes on daily basis. To compete in today's 21st century education system , teachers not only need to transform their methods, strategies and way of teaching but there needs to be a drastic mental attitudinal shift in the entire big picture of teaching paradigm.
"If we teach today's students as we taught yesterday's, we rob them of tomorrow"
- John Dewey
The article in consideration "Transformational Pedagogies" deals with the changing scenario of education. Starting from the ways of ancient education to the Vedic period, moving to the Buddhist and Hindu schools, the journey comes to the present standpoint of 20th and 21st century learners. Modern day education is purely based on modern hi-tech techniques, computers, internet, all forms of media communications, social networking site, media labs, digital boards, smart classes and much more. Combining all these forms and merging them with the basic curriculum of schools is the tough task to be accomplished by the modern educators and teachers in the transforming classrooms.
The article picks up issues of challenges to be faced by the modern day educator in teaching and interacting with the new age students, how they need to transform their techniques, methods and what they need to mould their strategies in the classroom for assessing the children in and out of the classroom so that the child turns out to be a responsible mature citizen of the nation. Though education has moved ahead in times but the value education introduced by CBSE plays a very important role in shaping up the personality of the students.
Dr. Dharam Veer Singh
Principal Sri Guru Harkrishan
Sr. Sec. Public School , G. T. Road Amritsar
Director CHIEF KHALSA DIWAN CHARITABLE SOCIETY
Dr. Dharam Veer Singh was born in 1960 in Amritsar. He began his teaching profession in 1985. He joined SGHPS G.T. Road as a Science teacher in 1987. His diligence and tenacity brought results when he became the incumbent Principal of Sri Guru Harkrishan Sr. Sec. Public School, G. T. Road , Asr in 1997 .
Under his stewardship , the school has become the most happening place. Flexible, futuristic, pragmatic and good motivator, he adapts himself to every situation. He has an iconic status worth emulation. It is no denying the fact that he is an administrator by profession and a healer by heart . Besides being the Principal , he also holds the position of the Director Education of Chief Khalsa Diwan Charitable Society and looking after 50 schools in which 2 schools are providing free education. He is also a Director of Shaheed Udham Singh school of Orphans in which nearly 250 orphans are getting free education. He is also Coordinator of CBSE Panchkula , City Coordinator of CTET, JEE(Mains) and NEET Exams.He is also working as a Chairman of Sahodaya Schools Complex, Amritsar.
His hard work and dedication have been recognized in the form of many awards notable among these is NATIONAL AWARD , 2011 and CBSE Teacher's Award 2008 by MHRD, Govt. of India. He was also honoured by Mayor of Liverpool and Vice Chancellor Liverpool University , U.K in 2011, Director Rice University, USA and former Director of NASA in 2012 . He has been recognized by various organizations and received Best Teacher Award by Lions and Rotary Clubs, Sahodaya Best Administration and Teacher Award . He has also received awards of honour from Deputy Commissioner, District Education Officer on his 'Amritsar Green Campaign', Avantika & others more than 100 institutions and organisations have honoured him at different occasions with Awards and momentos .
He has published many articles and books. He has organized several programmes on National Integration , participated in activities organized by various social organizations and encouraged students towards Secularism , Global Brotherhood and National Integration . He has introduced technology in daily classroom teaching with the use of multimedia. He attended many training program including IIM , Bangalore.
Dr. Dharam Veer Singh has been a capable Principal who has endeavoured to bring to fruition the dreams of many a student in the state . He consistently and diligently works to help students in his school to attain scholastic as well as co-scholastic excellence . He enjoys excellent rapport with students and is held in high esteem by his staff and parents.