Introduction and Rationale

An increasing number of people are concerned about education and find the intention in their selves to contribute to making it ‘better’. However, either the people find themselves at loss regarding what can they do or end up using the popularly appealing ideas to guide their actions which might end up adding to the problems instead of solving them. This course is created for the people who care to understand the conceptual basis behind their practices in education. The course is designed with the belief that any practitioner who wants to do worthwhile work (or wants to create a worthwhile impact) in the field of education will need to have both an intuitive and conscious sense of the larger socio-political reality within which education finds its place, of the value framework within which choices are made, and of ways of thinking. This course will help in articulating the intuitive and developing the conscious sense of all these aspects through a series of modules which will provoke people to inquire and think about fundamental questions like:


  • Why did the need for education even emerge in different societies?

  • How can dualities like education for 'social or individual' ends, for 'economic or moral' ends, for 'theory or skills' be resolved?

  • How do humans, especially children, learn?

  • What is the role of experience, language, teaching etc. in their learning?

  • What kind of education does any child need today and in the coming future?




And so on. It focuses on those fundamental ideas, concepts and assumptions without which neither can education be understood as a human endeavour nor any educational practice be considered well thought through.




Be it teaching-learning, curriculum development, material creation or teacher education; for the educational practice to be at all educational, it must be guided by a certain framework of principles. If there are no principles, there is effectively no ‘educational practice’ and in such a scenario what we have is either a habituated routine or just random action. Only a self-conscious theoretical framework can weave a sequence of actions into an educational practice. The objectives of the course, guided by the above thought, are:


  • To initiate the participants into serious educational thinking through as wide a theoretical framework as possible

  • To acquaint participants with most fundamental concepts, ideas (that includes theories) and ways of thinking required in answering questions arising in decision making about curriculum, pedagogy, assessment, teacher professional development and research

  • To encourage the participants to think for themselves and take their own thinking seriously


If you are a concerned practitioner in the field of Education, you might already be following an intuitive framework. This course, therefore, can become an occasion to consciously articulate it, examine it and construct your own educational practice in dialogue with others similarly concerned.

Foundations of Education

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