ALL INDIA COMPETITION ON INNOVATIVE PRACTICES AND EXPERIMENTS IN EDUCATION FOR SCHOOLS AND TEACHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS
The scheme entitled Innovative Practices in School and Teacher Education: All India Competition for NCERT award for school Teachers and Teacher Education was formulated during nineteen sixties and was in vogue till 2005.
National Curriculum Framework 2005 under the heading "Encouraging Innovations" in Chapter 5 entitled "Systemic Reforms" has made the following observations: Individual teachers often explore new ways of transacting the curriculum in addressing the needs of students within their specific classroom context (including constraints of space, large numbers, absence of teaching aids, diversity in the student body, the compulsion of examination, and so on). These efforts, often pragmatic but also creative and ingenious, by and large remain invisible to the school and the larger teaching community, and are usually not valued by teachers themselves. The sharing of teaching experiences and diverse classroom practices can provide opportunities for an academic discourse to develop within school as teachers interact with and learn from each other. This will also encourage new ideas and facilitate innovation and experimentation. How can innovative and creative ways of teaching and learning be encouraged and supported by the system so that they can become a body of practice that can be brought to a stage when they can be built back into the system? For a start, there is a need to create structured spaces within schools, and at the level of the cluster and block where teachers are encouraged to share and discuss classroom practices and experiences. If seen as worthwhile, some of these ideas and practices can be systemically followed up. It is also important to bring together groups of teachers within and across schools and provide support to them in terms of resources as well as time to work together. There is also, a need for documentation and research of identified good practices i(5.5.2).
As a follow-up of field interaction, expert group meetings and observations of NCF 2005, the old scheme was reviewed. On the basis of feedback received from the teachers, headmasters and experts, the following in-built obstacles in the system of school education and teacher education were identified in the way of sustaining innovations and innovative ideas in the system for a longer period.