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NCTE allows more flexibility in teacher education norms

Education NewsNew Delhi: After four days of intense discussion on norms for teacher education, National Council for Teacher Education has made some important gains, though the larger goal envisioned by the Supreme Court-appointed Justice JS Varma Committee still remains some distance away.

NCTE agreed that institutions of liberal arts and sciences with undergraduate courses in humanities and science can also start B.Ed and Bachelor in Elementary Education (B.El.Ed) courses. Also, MA in education will now be equated with M.Ed which will increase the number of teacher educators. The existing norm of people with B.El.Ed and M.Ed degree not qualifying to become teacher educators will continue since another post-graduate degree in a non-education subject is needed. But exception will be made for those who have done post-graduation in psychology, philosophy and sociology, considered foundational subjects for education.

But they need to have B.Ed or B.El.Ed degree to become teacher educators. A council member said, “This should not be seen as anti-M.Ed stance but building perspective and expanding teacher education so that teachers become agents of change.”

However, the meeting could not evolve consensus on accepting Homi Bhabha Centre’s Ph.D in science education and mathematics education as qualification for teacher educators. Homi Bhaba Centre is part of the prestigious Tata Institute of Fundamental Research. A member of the NCTE Council said, “In science and mathematics there is a need to integrate content with pedagogy. For instance, there are various ways in which concept of Fraction can be taught to children.” He also says that just because many institutes have not started Ph.D in science/maths education does not mean it cannot become a qualification for teacher educators.

Even Varma Committee specifically mentioned Ph.D in science/maths education to be accepted as qualification for teacher educators. Council member said, “Resistance to this course stems from conservative mindset. Bureaucracy is being careful in treading on ground that can bring radical changes.”

Source: The Times of India

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