Friday, November 5, 2010


(In the light of NCF -2005)
The Executive Committee of NCERT had taken the decision at its meeting held on 14 and 19 July 2004 to revise the National Curriculum framewrok. It followed a statement made by the Hon’ble Minister of Human Resource Development in the Loksabha that the council should take up such a revision. Subsequently, the Education Secretary, Ministry of HRD communicated to the Director of NCERT the need to review the National Curriculum Framework for School Education (NCFSE 2000) in the light of the report, ‘Learning Without Burden’ (1993). In the context of these decisions, a National Steering Committee, chaired by Prof. Yash Pal, and 21 National Focus groups were setup. Membership of these committees included representatives of institutions of advanced learning, NCERT’s faculty, school teachers and non-governmental organizations.
The National Policy on Education (NPE, 1986) proposed the National Curriculum Framework as a means of evolving a national system of education, recommending a core component derived from the vision of national development enshrined in the Constitution. The Programme of Action (POA, 1992) elaborated this focus by emphasizing relevance, flexibility and quality.
Vision – NCF – 2005
The revised National Curriculum Framework (NCF) opens with a quotation from Rabindranath Tagore’s essay, Civilisation and Progress, in which the poet reminds us that a ‘creative spirit’ and ‘generous joy’ are keys in childhood, both of which can be distorted by an unthinking adult world. In the word of Prof. Yash Pal.
we need to give our children some taste of understanding, following which they would be able to learn and create their own versions of knowledge as they go out to meet the world of bits, images and transactions of life. Such a taste would make the present of our children wholesome, creative and enjoyable ; they would not be traumatized by the excess burden of information that is required merely for a short time before the hurdle race we call examination. The NCF-2005 document suggests some ways of getting out of this self-imposed adversity (1993).
The main challenges for NCF – 2005 include :
·         Keeping oneself updated (knowledge. attitude and skill wise).
·         Fulfilling academic and non-academic requirements of learners.
·         Growing with new friends, new policies, new programmes, new technologies.
·         Acquainting the teachers with the application of new technology in the field of education.
·         Constructing the knowledge using local environment as a laboratory with the help of learners.
·         Promoting ICT for professional efficiency.
Guiding principles of NCF-2005 are
·         Connecting knowledge to life outside the school.
·         Learning shifted away from rote methods to constructivist methods.
·         Curriculum provides for all development of children rather than remain text-book centric.
The Yashpal Committee Report (1993) “Learning Without Burden” noted about teacher training programmes, “The emphasis in these programmes should be on enabling trainees to acquire the ability for self learning and independent thinking.” Most teacher education programmes provide little scope for student-teachers to reflect on their experience and thus fail to empower teachers as agents of change. Teacher education must become more sensitive to the emerging demands from the school system. For this it must prepare teachers to
ü  Be encouraging, supportive and humane facilitator in teaching-learning situations to enable learners to discover their talents, realize their physical and intellectual potentialities to the fullest, and to develop character and desirable social and human values to function as responsible citizens.
ü  Be receptive and be constantly learning.
ü  View learning as a search for meaning out of personal experience and knowledge generation as a continuously evolving process of reflective learning.
ü   Appreciate the potential of productive work and hands on experience as pedagogic medium both inside and outside the classroom.
Knowledge is the result of accurate internalisation and reconstruction of external reality. Knowledge is the outcome of social interaction. Knowledge is constructed from ones experience but is not an accurate representation of external reality. The instructional issue must be based on social interaction. Now the question is how to facilitate the cognitive processes in learner through social interaction. Instructional methods such as group teaching, brain storming, experiential learning, co operative learning, cognitive apprenticeships, and problem based learning and discovery learning strategies require that a student learns as a part of a group. Different assumptions and various experiences provided under those instructional approaches lead to different knowledge.
four steps of construction of KNOWLEDGE:
ü  Assimilation
ü  Accommodation
ü  Invention
ü  Reflection and Scaffolding of new knowledge upon existing framework of knowledge
constructivist teaching model
In the constructivist perspective, knowledge is constructed by the individual through his interactions with his environment. How we perceive knowledge and the process of coming to know provides the basis for educational practice. If we believe that learners passively receive information then priority in instruction will be on knowledge transmission. If, on the other hand, we believe that learners actively construct knowledge in their attempts to make sense of their world, then learning will likely emphasize the development of meaning and understanding.

While preparing a outline of lesson plan in constructivist perspective the following must be emphasized.
In the ICON model (interpretation construction design model) Observation consists of
·        Identification of existing scattered constructs / schema/ entry behavior / primary knowledge.
·        Listing of life centric illustration/situation to be used.
·        Make connections between prior knowledge (advance organiser) and what is to be presented.
·        Use visuals(Films.documentary,cartoon,poster,chart),articles,multimedia, etc. to accent instruction.
·        Find out student ideas on topic -- uncover misconceptions.
·        Learners should be given chance to observe a variety of sources / constructs which are meaningful to them.
Explanation: In the topic of “FOOD’’ learners identify the source of different food materials, distinguishing different food items and can guess their utilization. They can make the list of food items which they are used in daily basis.
Contextualization consists of
·        Relevance of life centric situation
·        They will relate their analysis of relevant situation to the text material / learning experience.
Cognitive apprenticeship consists of
·        Listing of prime/prompts/hints/cues use to facilitate emission of correct response
·        Teacher should be capable of understanding the frame of reference of thinking of students.
·        Teacher as a facilitator would pave the way for analysis and interpretation of relevant facts, concepts etc.
Collaboration consists of
·        Learners should form small subgroups to facilitate peer learning, interaction, and brainstorming.
·        Observation, interpretation and contextualization
Interpretation construction consists of
·        Extension of old knowledge to construct new knowledge/ new concept / wisdom.
Multiple interpretations consists of
·        Cognitive flexibility by being exposed to multiple interpretations in group participation and exchange of idea, opinion and views takes place.
Multiple manifestations consists of
·        Manifestation of same interpretation.
·        Manifestation of different views ( social science)
·        Application of construct knowledge to various situations or challenging situations.
The constructivist view of the world as having reality only as it is understood by the learner signals a dramatic departure from theories which view the world as objective truth to be explained and accepted. This change represents a fundamental shift in the understanding of the learning relationship. It gives new status to the learner as the active constructor within the learning activity instead of being passive respondent to externally determined world of education.. The constructivist teacher becomes a partner who is given the opportunity to see familiar educational vistas through new eyes and in a real sense becomes a fellow learner with the students he serves.
Debasish Mandal
Teacher, The Oriental Seminary

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