University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Education, Equality and Development (EED) Group Seminars > Seminar Series - Critical Dialogues on Research in Education & International Development: Understanding ideas that matter in Indian Education: why and how

Seminar Series - Critical Dialogues on Research in Education & International Development: Understanding ideas that matter in Indian Education: why and how

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The current policy and reform space in Indian education is marked by several key conceptions, central to the imagination of the ideals and aspirations that are the driving forces of policy and reform. By naming the field and phenomena in particular ways rather than others, they perform an ontological function, give shape to the reform scape and create motivation and the logic of action in it. Some of these terms include ‘rote learning’, ‘local knowledge’, ‘independence’, ‘girls education’, ‘examinations’, ‘equality’, ‘quality’, ‘pluralism’, ‘relevance’ and ‘child-centred education’. Conceptions ‘do their politics’ within national education systems in which they have particular histories and hence particular meanings. So although they are apparently familiar and similar across the world, they need to be understood contextually within specific intellectual traditions and histories. In the first part of my talk I will elaborate and illustrate this contextualisation with reference to Indian indigenous policy discussion starting from the colonial period, with reference to modern education. In the second part of my talk I will take up contextualisation with reference to the indigenous/vernacular and discuss three aspects: the vernacular education space as the object of reform, the agent of reform as the vernacular thinker, and the vernacular/indigenous as a pre-modern and living non-western intellectual and pedagogic tradition. I will end with an outline of a proposal and methodology for a comparatist study of select key concepts.

This talk is part of the Education, Equality and Development (EED) Group Seminars series.

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