KARACHI: To improve your education system, you don’t need to follow America or Europe but to find role models that lie within you, said University of Winconsin-Madison’s Tom Popkewitz.
The professor of curriculum and instructions at the varsity’s school of education was talking via Skype to a group of students and teachers at Aga Khan University-Institute for Educational Development (AKU-IED). The institute had organised the talk in collaboration with ILM ideas with Popkewitz, for their Kazim Bucchus Research Seminar lecture series on Friday.
The lecture, titled ‘The Impracticality of Practical Research’, was named after Popkewitz’s upcoming book. Research is more of what is being done and how it is being done, he said, adding that he chose to write a book on the different aspects of research and on teachers.
Popkewitz, who is the author of more than 200 articles and 30 books, pointed out that schools shape different kinds of people, including both teachers and students. Every person who goes to the same school is not the same and that is what makes research impractical. Not everyone has the same psyche, he added.
Even though his presentation faced several technical glitches throughout, Popkewitz managed to get some points across. He gave the example of international comparison of school results and research on teachers’ practices and change in their education to explain how research is impractical.
Teachers, in Popkewitz’s view, are no different than psychotherapists, researchers and other professionals. Teachers transform minds and make a society, he added. Research also says that if you change a teacher you can change a student. “Teachers are an agent of change and they can play a vital role in transforming students,” he said. “One should learn from neighbouring countries, such as China, that are reforming their schools and changing modern schools,” he said, as he answered a question from the audience.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 24th, 2015.
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