These same participatory, constructivist, active learning approaches have also been adopted in all our teacher education programmes so that the graduating teachers are equipped to use such approaches in the classroom.
As children’s thinking can only be developed by teachers who themselves have been encouraged to think – the teacher education process is experiential and reflective.
A ‘Hub and Spokes’approach has been adopted with a Teacher Training Centre based in one of the schools being the ‘Hub’ and the schools being the ‘Spokes’. In contrast to conventional teacher training, this facilitates an extensive integrated internship programme in which trainees undertake intensive observation of individual children, thereby constantly relating theory to practice. They discuss their observations in a weekly tutorial with a faculty member. At the end of the year a detailed case study is produced on each child capturing all aspects of the child’s development.
This process heightens the sensitivity of the trainees to the children’s individual differences and enables the faculty to draw on pedagogical learnings from the classroom. Muktangan from the beginning has developed qualitative processes of formative assessment of each individual child’s development. This has thus pre-dated the system of Comprehensive Continuous Evaluation (CCE) mandated under the Right to Education (RTE) Act 2009.
The Teacher Education Centre’s faculty members are responsible for both pre-service and in-service teacher development. These teams, along with the teachers, conduct pedagogical research using the schools and their classrooms as laboratories. These departments are becoming ‘Think-Tanks’ or ‘Centres of Excellence’. They are already becoming pedagogical resources for government programmes.
Muktangan is now a mainstream resource centre offering internships to those leaders who want to learn more about our ‘whole school’ model.