Sharing & Learning Together

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Culture specific pedagogy and educational process- an introductory draft.

After going through both essays I have found that whatever discussed in it is narrowing down to certain very specific aspects of education, what it should be, how it could be ect… A kind of
‘content-form’ dynamics as we talk in the area of art.

Gardner’s essay provides a detailed narration of most effective schooling methods and a socio- politico- cultural background on which those schools are thriving. In the introduction he gives an idea of the locality its socio- politico- cultural backgrounds and school infrastructure. As the writer himself suggests that ‘the infrastructure and the school architecture and displays do not differentiate Reggio School from other schools’, he emphasize the role of the philosophy and the circumstances on which Reggio Schools came to exist, function and create the difference.

This difference itself is the cultural differences - in a sense. Here Gardner also discusses about its adaptability related aspects and problems in other situations providing examples on learning methodology in different cultural conditions (China and West or mimetic and constructive). This gives insights to culture specific learning.

In the area of education this culture reflects in the pedagogy. The ways children are educated to explore and understand in a disciplined and peaceful manner in Reggio results in the creation of a variety of learning methods. Here the pedagogy is nicely woven in to many aspects child individual and her personality and her ability to function in a given situation. The culture here, in fact, inculcates an ability to freely explore a variety of methods in learning as expressing/ transferring the knowledge in to intelligible forms. (Most observers agree that the works are not cute throw- aways by young children; many are substantial and evocative creations. page 88 para1)

One thing Gardner stress in all this is the concept of multiple intelligence and learning based on it.

Anitha Rampal
Anitha Rampal on the other hand discusses about the various ground situations in Indian educational/ schooling scenario. The stress here are, need for decentralised education thus a sort of culture specificity- as she speak about tribal societies- and new concepts such as DPEP. The success of DPEP is still a matter of debate even as she call it a success in Kerala (Not so in all sense).

Reflecting up on this and my own practice I would like to work on few areas:

· What is the take away for an educationist from this?

· Another thing that I would like to extend a bit more is the analysis of two essays as I thought it would give some perspective to what these essays really aiming for as I understand it, though the real objective is to connect them to own practice and not a comparison.

· Now, coming on once own practice- the systems followed in many good schools in India such as Aditit or Vasant Valley that I taught earlier have a perception closer to Reggio schools and do not differ much in philosophy or pedagogical system though it may lack behind Reggio schools in a huge way in the actual application. This is mainly because of the examination system they are affiliated to- some thing that Anitha Rampal discussing. So the context here needs to be traded carefully and my attempt would be discussing certain aspects about it.

In all this light, I may need to go back a little to my own schooling days and make relationships in order to give a better picture of my own practice now.

Further than this, I think It would be worth to discus a bit on what ‘culture’ is really meant in these context and where do we locate education/pedagogy in terms of culture- culture that educate, education that culture ect… If that is the case what are the ground realities that an education system India faces.

I also hope that all this make sense to the reader as well.


  • Hi Bala1
    My two cents worth on the DPEP- yes , it may not have been a complete success- lack of proper training , difficulty in changing the mindset of teachers who are firmly entrenched in the traditional method of teaching etc being contributory factors. But, you can't deny that it has opened the eyes of the population as to waht is meant by "experiential' learning. I must also at this point say that the Kerala Govt. deserves kudos on its willingness to experiment and also the effort it is putting into teacher training through the DIET and DPI. Yeah! there's a lot that could be done to improve the situation- but hopefully this is a start.

    By Blogger Raji Nair, at 5:28 PM  

  • Dear Bala , it is fascinating how your mind goes into so many things simultaneously. waitng for the essay proper.

    By Blogger a.v.koshy, at 12:03 AM  

  • Echo Koshy's thoughts Bala - am waiting to see how the points you have listed blossom into full- fledged arguments.

    Linking it with yur school days is a good perspective to consider. Here the context of the teacher's background and her thinking become central - something one always needs to take into consideration in any classroom situation.

    Fully agree with you, Raji, Kerala takes the initiative in so many education related first steps! In situations with great constraints and lack of infra structure! I do admire that.

    By Blogger Tara Kini, at 5:02 PM  

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