Quality Discourses in Education (Schools and School Systems)

What is the quality’ of education and how do we define it?

The quality’ of education a contested concept suffused with different paradigms specific to historical times and contexts. It could be focused on the individual or on the social goals of education, and so an appreciation of the aims of education and ideologies that influence how these goals are realised are necessary for an understanding of the quality of education. Economic theory views quality education as an input to economic development; liberal-humanist traditions focus on equity and well-being as a necessary component of quality. 

You will apply these notions of quality in the context of schools and school systems in India, consider normative conceptions of educational aims as per the Indian Constitution and appraise how these aims are articulated by individuals and communities (teachers, school leaders and education functionaries). We focus here on equity and social justice and explore critical and current debates on school effectiveness. 

The course will include lectures, readings, a practicum in which you visit different types of schools and school systems: rural government schools, alternative schools, mainstream private schools and so on. We will also conduct workshops on the notions of quality in the Right to Education Act.