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Pedagogy for its own sake: teacher’s beliefs about activity-based learning in rural government schools of Kashmir

Wahid Ahmad Dar (Department of Anthropology, Government Degree College Shopian, University of Kashmir, Srinagar, India)

Quality Assurance in Education

ISSN: 0968-4883

Article publication date: 26 August 2021

Issue publication date: 27 September 2021

104

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore the contextual problems and priorities that create tensions in the implementation of activity-based learning reforms such as learning enhancement through active pedagogy in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). By doing so, it aims to understand the relevance of activity-based learning (ABL) in diverse contexts as perceived by stakeholders.

Design/methodology/approach

Using qualitative data drawn from semi-structured interviews with 29 teachers, this study uses an anthropological approach to policy implementation to unleash factors creating a disjunction between policy text and policy practice.

Findings

Narratives from teachers reveal how critical awareness about context raises tensions and shapes beliefs about ABL. Their beliefs about ABL can be summed as “pedagogy for its own sake”, reflecting the perceived ineptness of ABL in bringing about considerable improvements in students learning outcomes. Reference to “outcomes” was invoked as a crucial recontextualising discourse in teacher’s pedagogic orientation which resulted primarily from the poor learning attainments of rural children in the prevalent outcome-focussed educational setup.

Research limitations/implications

The study is the first of its kind conducted in J&K and amongst very few around the world elucidating tension around the implementation of pedagogic reforms in underserved areas. This is the only study providing a critical analysis of pedagogic reforms in the school education system in J&K.

Practical implications

The study has significant implications in terms of helping immediate functionaries such as headmasters, teacher trainers and administrators and policy planners in understanding the dilemmas faced by teachers in enacting pedagogic reforms. It also adds to the field of policy implementation in terms of understanding the tensions of policy implementation at peripheries.

Originality/value

The study is the first of its kind conducted in J&K and amongst very few around the world elucidating tension around the implementation of pedagogic reforms in underserved areas. This is the only study providing a critical analysis of the school education system in J&K.

Keywords

Citation

Dar, W.A. (2021), "Pedagogy for its own sake: teacher’s beliefs about activity-based learning in rural government schools of Kashmir", Quality Assurance in Education, Vol. 29 No. 2/3, pp. 311-327. https://doi.org/10.1108/QAE-01-2021-0013

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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