For teachers to be able to create an effective environment for children to learn deeply, they need to be leaders of learning themselves. They need to continuously grow and evolve in order to help their students develop. Unfortunately, our existing education system has limited our capacity to be lifelong learners and in some ways dulled our spirit of inquiry; curiosity and inquisitiveness are not manifested in their fullest form.
To develop this essential capacity within our teachers, conscious work needs to be done in teacher education programmes. We feel that once teachers see themselves as learners and understand the importance of letting this natural capacity flourish, they will consciously create the same space for children.
We see PGDLT as a movement to revolutionize teacher education in the country. Just as no medical school exists without a hospital, no teacher education institute should be run without being attached to a school. Our program has been inspired by the residency model in the USA, where teacher preparation is fast changing from a traditional theory-based model to a more practice-based model. The Urban Teacher Residency United, which is the apex organization in US, has a network of more than 20 residencies and is advising us in this endeavor. Teachers graduating from our program will be torch-bearers of the reform process and will go and lead change in schools they are placed in.
PGDLT is an innovative, practice-based, one year, full-time programme, commencing in June 2015. Our residents (student teachers) will be placed in The Heritage School, Gurgaon where they will spend a whole year in classrooms teaching alongside experienced collaborating teachers who model best practices for novices. Residents are intensively mentored and guided through the year by a clinical teacher educator, who is present on the field. Besides classroom practice, residents have course work through the year that helps them integrate theory and practice and earns them the diploma in Learning and Teaching.
This diploma is offered by ‘I am a Teacher’ in collaboration with ‘The Heritage school’ and ‘Jodo Gyan’ and is not affiliated with any board or Indian University. We have no affiliation with the National Council for Teacher Education. This qualification is not recognized by Government or Government aided schools as basic teaching qualification. This programme is suitable for upgrading professional skills of existing B.Eds/ B.El.Eds as well as for graduates interested in entering education. We will help place our students in private schools and other institutions that support progressive practice.