First Workshop from 25th February to 1st March 2018 (5 days)

Society and education’ is a course of six months aimed at capacity building of educators on field, hosted by Eklavya and supported by Jamshedji Tata Trust.

INTRODUCTION

The problems of education in the country have many facets, largely revolving around situations of accessibility to institutions like school, nature of knowledge and pedagogy and varying cultural capital that enable or distance people from schooling. These aspects collectively determine the situations in which schooling in the country operates.

Modern schooling that emerged in the context of industrial development in Western Europe, sought to orient the mass of potential labourers for industrial employment. This orientation was defined not only by basic requirements of literacy and numeracy, but also by a more important training on disciplined behaviour that could help to synergise with the machines that occupied the central dynamics of industrial production. At the same time, mass education opened up opportunities for overcoming the inequalities of access to a large range of cultural and scientific knowledge that traditionally could be learnt only by the upper class, with emphasis on men. In India, caste laid a strong and nuanced detail to class that by virtue of being decided by birth, marked deep- rooted social exclusions and inclusions in social behaviour as well as access to education. Social structure and practices thus become crucial factors impacting education in the country. Even in situations where accessibility to schooling is enhanced, social practices based on class, caste and patriarchy often encroach upon the school and its classroom practices. These practices often shape the nature of knowledge offered as well as their presentations in text books and in class room teachings. For instance, how do text books that represent the official knowledge of schooling, deal with the socio-economic structures and practices prevalent in society? How does language represent an unquestioned acceptance of socio-economic inequalities and biases?

For educators on field, the above mentioned aspects impacting education become crucial to be engaged with. Only then can the problems of education be contextualised, for which educators seek solutions or modifications. Engagements with the relationships between social structure- practices and schooling would help educators to seek solutions that are grounded on a thorough appreciation of the problems. This would help them to move away from the popular practices of pinpointing the root of problems on individuals like students and teachers. What we need is a systemic change with nuanced micro practices at the levels of the school and the class room. The course offered, termed ‘Society and education’ aims to indulge in the problem areas, with a perspective that multiple solutions would be evolved by educators who deal with varied problems of education in different parts of the country.

NATURE AND STRUCTURE OF THE COURSE

Aims and expected outcomes: The course is envisaged as a process of capacity building for educators on field. It intends to bring together theory and practice, and to enable educators to examine, analyse and write reflectively on issues of education. This would help them to seek well-grounded solutions for challenges experienced on the field.

The course spreads over a period of 6 months. The aims and step-wise transitions are spelt out below:

LOGISTICS

Students would attend two workshops of four days each. These would be conducted within a gap of 4 months. The workshops would be interactive consisting of lectures, film shows, discussions, group work and presentations. After each workshop, students would engage with reading materials provided to them and do small assignments.

COURSE OUTLINE

Workshop 1 would focus on the various socio- economic marginalisations and their relationships with education. The main topics are as follows:

  • Tribe and education
  • Caste and education
  • Gender and education
  • Class and education
  • Muslim minority and education
  • Intersections of Marginalisations
  • Social Reproduction and Resistance
  • Experiences from other countries

Workshop 2 would focus on the role of the state, on policies, and social reproduction in education. The main topics are as follows:

  • Education, social reproduction of inequalities, and resistance
  • Role of the state vis-a-vis education
  • New dilemmas and struggles through liberalisation- globalisation
  • Educational policies- RTE and the emerging National Education Policy

Assignments

Both the processes in the workshops and those of the assignments seek to link theory and practice. The assignments also enhance reflective writing. At least one of the assignments would be field based, through which problem solving in concrete situations is encouraged. Perspective building, usage of data and secondary sources and seeking ground level solutions are the main thrusts of the assignments.

 

Workshop schedule

  • First Workshop from 25th February to 1st March 2018 (5 days)