DIET: TRANSACTIONAL PHILOSOPHY
A DIET will have 3 main functions, viz.
(i) Training (both of induction level as well as continuing varieties)
(ii) Resource support (extension/guidance, development of materials, aids, evaluation tools, etc.) and
(iii) Action research
This section discusses the basic approach and philosophy to be followed in undertaking these functions, especially training.
Basic Transactional Approach for the DIETs: Placing the Learner at the Centre
The NPE and POA plead for adoption of a Child Centred approach in
elementary education. The relevant portion of NPE reads:
Child Centred Approach
A warm welcoming and encouraging approach, in which all concerned share a solicitude for the needs of the child, is the best motivation for the child to attend school and learn. A child-centred and activity-based process of learning should be adopted at the primary stage…”
Para 14 of Chapter II of the POA states that “by making Elementary Education child-centred, we would be introducing a long-awaited reform in the system. The most important aspect of this reform will be to make education a joyful, innovative and satisfying learning activity, rather than a system of role and cheerless, authoritarian instruction”.
In the case of Adult Education Programmes also, it is clear that functional literacy should be imparted to adults in a participative, learner-active mode.
The above statements contained in the NPE and POA have profound implications for programmes of teacher education and training of instructors of adult and non-formal education. The child or learner centred approach necessitates a fundamental change in the manner of curriculum transaction. The challenge is an especially daunting one in view of the special characteristics of our system-high pupil-teacher ratio, multi-grade teaching, in-adequate physical facilities, and so on. The role of the teacher/instructor would now be no longer one of transmitting readymade knowledge to the learner, but, instead, that of a designer and facilitator of learning experiences, a manager of instruction and learning resources, and an active contributor to the all-round development of the learner.
All programmes of pre-service and in-service teacher education and of training AE/NFE personnel in the DIET would be so designed as to train the teacher/instructor in transacting curriculum, keeping the learner at the centre of the teaching-learning process. If the DIET is to achieve this, it follows that it will have to transact its own programmes in the same learner-centred mode, which it would expect of its trainees. This basic approach would imbue the transaction of all programmes in a DIET. Some of the implications of this would be as follows:
Programmes will be need based. Even within group of trainees/participants, individual differences and needs will be identified and catered to.
Trainees will be enabled to experiment, discover, learn, practice and innovate for themselves, rather than being lectured to. Learning activities will be suitably organised, in individual and group modes.
Maximum possible use will be made of the local environment in the learning process. Curricula and learning activities will be suitably related to it.
Good work done by trainees will be duly recognised, encouraged, displayed and publicized.
The DIET will itself adopt the attitude of a “life-long learner” rather than that of an oracle or know-all. It would receive as much from the ‘field’ as it would endeavor to give to it. The district will serve as the ‘school’ for its learning experiences, while it may carve out one or two special areas as its ‘lab areas’.