Dear readers, I promise you don’t want to miss out on this!
We’ve uploaded Part 1 of Chetan Bhagat’s appearance at the Third Policy Dialogue. You can see the video at http://www.youtube.com/user/Britishcouncilindia#p/c/182A295AA1364815/24/dS9kh3qeWYg
We’ll be uploading the final parts in the next few days, so stay tuned. And tell us what you think of Chetan’s address.
We’ve all had a bit of time to digest David Graddol’s ‘tiny tome’ (not my quote) during the Third Policy Dialogue. If not, you can still view the recording of his presentation at http://www.britishcouncil.org.in/efponline/sessions/18.html
What I’d like to know is what does it mean to you. His statistics and conclusions may be new for an international audience, but is there anything new for an Indian audience?
What are your views?
Panel: Mr. HH Ariyadasa, Mr. David Graddol, Prof. Ajit K. Mohanty
In this main stage discussion some interesting points were raised. Let us know your thoughts and views on these issues.
1. Advocating a shift away from rote memorisation.
2. English has to be embedded into multi-lingual school education.
3. In their current state, English medium schools are not the solution, and may actually cause failure in the educational system.
4. (A student asks) Isn’t learning four langauges a waste of time? Why don’t we learn science instead?
5. Moving English down to class 1 exposes the educational system at its weakest, most vulnerable point.
In the parallel session, ‘In-service and Pre-service English Language Teacher Education’, the room split into two groups to discuss the best way forward for in-service and pre-service teacher education.
One recomendation that came out was that Teacher Educators should come from schools and not from institutes or universities. They should be good teachers with a lot of practical experience and not traditional academics with doctorate degrees. What do you think?
Who is going to select these teachers? How to select them?
Should teachers be allowed to nominate themselves?
How do we replace the good teachers who we take out to become teacher educators?
Your comments please.
A brief outline of the issues covered by the two eminent speakers:
At present there is no CPD policy in India, clearly a neglected area.
1. Inadequate education
2. Facilitate change
3. Help teachers to prosper in ELT
How to motivate teachers ? How can the system help teachers embark on this lifelong journey?
Rod Bolitho: the notion of developement must come from within the individual.
‘continuous’ requires constant reinvention.
‘professional’ teaching as a real profession to be taken seriously. Teachers are typically challenged more than other professions .
‘development’ self-directed change and progress in individuals and institutions.
Echoing and touching upon what Dr. Martin Wedell “If the exams don’t change, nothing changes”.
We need a policy for a financial support as at the moment it operates on a ‘goodwill basis’.
‘Change Forces’ change is mandatory, but growth is optional.
So… as a teacher are you a hedgehog, a dinosaur or a chameleon?
Prof. Siddiqui, Chair of the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE)talked about the development of new curriculum framework for teacher education in India that he hopes will be implemented nation wide over the next 3 to 4 years.
He says pre-service, in-service and professsional development of teachers must be considered as a continuum of teacher education.
He says there has been a shift towards a more constructivist approach to learning. He recognises a need to enhance language competence and a need to give space for teachers to become reflective practitioners.
Professor Siddiqui recommends a 2 years post graduation teacher training programme, or 4- 5 years for school leavers (after plus 2).
How many years pre-service training do you think teachers need?
Dr Martin Wedell, Senior Lecturer, University of Leeds presented a session around planning for change in education.
He said that we are better at planning for change than seeing change in practice.
He also said change is unlikely to be identically implemented and that ultimately it is what teachers do in classrooms that determines what changes have taken place.
The neglect of how people actually experience change as distinct from how it might have been intended is at the heart of the spectacular failure of most social and educational change policies.
Transition is a complex process – changing teachers to facilitators – we often think that training will take care of that. But it is also a matter of systemic support – both visible and invisible.
Societal expectations and assessment systems must also change as well as the teachers and their teaching to ensure successful change processes.
Alison Barrett and Duncan Wilson began the second day of the Third Policy Dialogue conference by asking two questions:
What does English language mean to you?
What do you think the English language means to people in your country?
What are your answers?
In this session, one of the highlights of the two-day policy dialogue, Manish Sabharwal casually steers us down an enchanted river of laid back eloquence , deftly pointing out some big ideas along the way.
It’s a mesmirising speech on ‘Skills for Employablity’. Catch it here:
Analogies like: Cambrian explosions, ovarian lotteries; thought worlds, policy orphans,; good is NOT the enemy of the great, bad is better than nothing.
What are your thoughts?
Stephen Jenner, Deputy Head Corporate Training, British Council India, poses this question as one of the parallel speakers for the Session ‘Meeting the Recruitment Challenge’.
Stephen stresses the need for a global benchmarking tool and suggests the CEF, or rather ‘CF’ as it is more commonly being referred to.
Stephen summarises the BPO recruiter’s daily challenge:
1. I need people with good English, but what does that mean?
2. What exactly are the communication skills I need for this specific process?
3. What do I do with borderliners?
4. How do I transform new recruits into first class employees?
We would love to hear your ideas, suggestions and answers to these questions! Keep your comments coming in…