Friday, January 11, 2019

Education in France


The French educational system is highly centralized and organized, with many subdivisions. It is divided into the three stages of enseignement primaire (primary education), enseignement secondaire (secondary education), and enseignement supérieur (higher education). In French higher education, the following degrees are recognized by the Bologna Process (EU recognition): Licence and Licence Professionnelle (bachelor's degrees), and the comparably named Master and Doctorat degrees.

History of Education in France

Napoleon launched the university and secondary educational systems to Napoleon. Guizot started the elementary system. Intense battles took place over whether the Catholic Church should play a dominant role. The modern era of French education begins at the end of the nineteenth century. Jules Ferry, a Minister of Public Instruction in the 1880s, is widely credited for creating the modern school (l'école républicaine) by requiring all children between the ages of 6 and 12, both boys and girls, to attend. He also made public instruction mandatory, free of charge, and secular (laïque). With these laws, known as French Lubbers, Jules Ferry laws, and several others, the Third Republic repealed most of the Falloux Laws of 1850–1851, which gave an important role to the clergy.

Governance

All educational programmes in France are regulated by the Ministry of National Education (officially called Ministère de l'Éducation nationale, de la Jeunesse et de la Vie associative). The head of the ministry is the Minister of National Education.The teachers in public primary and secondary schools are all state civil servants, making the ministère the largest employer in the country. Professors and researchers in France's universities are also employed by the state.At the primary and secondary levels, the curriculum is the same for all French students in any given grade, which includes public, semi-public and subsidised institutions. However, there exist specialised sections and a variety of options that students can choose. The reference for all French educators is the Bulletin officiel de l'éducation nationale, de l'enseignement supérieur et de la recherche (B.O.) which lists all current programmes and teaching directives. It is amended many times every year.

School year

In Metropolitan France, the school year runs from early September to early July. The school calendar is standardised throughout the country and is the sole domain of the ministry.In May, schools need time to organise exams (for example, the baccalauréat). Outside Metropolitan France, the school calendar is set by the local recteur.

Major holiday breaks are as follows:
  •     All Saints (la Toussaint), two weeks (since 2012) around the end of October and the    beginning of November;
  •     Christmas (Noël), two weeks around Christmas Day and New Year's Day;
  •     winter (hiver), two weeks starting in mid February;
  •     spring (printemps) or Easter (Pâques), two weeks starting in mid April;
  •     summer (été), two months starting in early July. (mid-June for high school students).

Primary school

Schooling in France is not mandatory (but instruction is). Most parents start sending their children to preschool (maternelle) when they turn 3. Some even start earlier at age 2 in toute petite section "TPS". The first two years of preschool (TPS and petite section "PS") are introductions to community living; children learn how to become students and are introduced to their first notions of arithmetic, begin to recognize scripture, develop oral language, etc. The last two years of preschool, moyenne section and grande section, are more school-like; pupils are introduced to reading, writing and more mathematics. A preschool can have its own school zone (mostly true in towns) or be affiliated to an elementary school (mostly in villages). As in other educational systems, French primary school students usually have a single teacher (or two) who teaches the complete curriculum.After kindergarten, the young students move on to the école élémentaire (elementary school). In the first 3 years of elementary school, they learn to write, develop their reading skills and get some basics in subjects such as French, mathematics, science and the arts, to name a few. Note that the French word for a teacher at the primary school level is professeur or professeure des écoles (previously called instituteur, or its feminine form institutrice).Children stay in elementary school for 5 years until they are 10–11 years-old. The grades are named: CP (cours préparatoire), CE1 (cours élémentaire 1), CE2 (cours élémentaire 2), CM1 (cours moyen 1) and CM2 (cours moyen 2). 

Middle school and high school


After primary school, two educational stages follow:
  • collège (middle school), for children during their first four years of secondary education from the age of 11 to 15.
  • lycée (high school), which provides a three-year course of further secondary education for children between the ages of 15 and 18. Pupils are prepared for the baccalauréat (baccalaureate, colloquially known as le bac) or the CAP (Certificat d'aptitude professionnelle). The baccalauréat can lead to higher education studies or directly to professional life.
  •  CFA (centre de formation des apprentis, apprentice learning center), which provides vocational degrees: le Certificat d'aptitude professionnelle.

International education

As of January 2015, the International Schools Consultancy (ISC) listed France as having 105 international schools. ISC defines an 'international school' in the following terms: "ISC includes an international school if the school delivers a curriculum to any combination of pre-school, primary or secondary students, wholly or partly in English outside an English-speaking country, or if a school in a country where English is one of the official languages, offers an English-medium curriculum other than the country’s national curriculum and is international in its orientation." This definition is used by publications including The Economist.France has its own international school regulator, the AEFE (Agence pour l'enseignement français à l'étranger).

Higher education

Higher education in France is organized in three levels, which correspond to those of other European countries, facilitating international mobility: the Licence and Licence Professionnelle (bachelor's degrees), and the Master's and Doctorat degrees. The Licence and the Master are organized in semesters: 6 for the Licence and 4 for the Master. These levels of study include various "parcours" or paths based on UE (Unités d’Enseignement or Modules), each worth a defined number of European credits (ECTS); a student accumulates these credits, which are generally transferable between paths. A Licence is awarded once 180 ECTS have been obtained; a Master is awarded once 120 additional credits have been obtained.Licence and master's degrees are offered within specific domaines and carry a specific mention. Spécialités which are either research-oriented or professionally oriented during the second year of the Master. There are also Professional Licences whose objective is immediate job integration. It is possible to later return to school through continuing education or to validate professional experience (through VAE, Validation des Acquis de l’Expérience.Higher education in France is divided between grandes écoles and public universities. The grandes écoles admit the graduates of the level Baccalauréat + 2 years of validated study (or sometimes directly after the Baccalauréat) whereas universities admit all graduates of the Baccalauréat.A striking trait of French higher education, compared with other countries, is the small size and multiplicity of establishments, each specialised in a more-or-less broad spectrum of areas. A middle-sized French city, such as Grenoble or Nancy, may have 2 or 3 universities (focused on science or sociological studies) and also a number of engineering and other establishments specialised higher education. In Paris and its suburbs there are 13 universities, none of which is specialised in one area or another, and a large number of smaller institutions that are highly specialised. It is not uncommon for graduate teaching programmes (master's degrees, the course part of PhD programmes etc.) to be operated in common by several institutions, allowing the institutions to present a larger variety of courses.

In engineering schools and the professional degrees of universities, a large share of the teaching staff is often made up of non-permanent professors; instead, part-time professors are hired to teach one only specific subject. The part-time professors are generally hired from neighbouring universities, research institutes or industries.Another original feature of the French higher education system is that a large share of the scientific research is carried out by research establishments such as CNRS or INSERM, which are not formally part of the universities. However, in most cases, the research units of those establishments are located inside universities (or other higher education establishments) and jointly operated by the research establishment and the university.

Tuition costs

Since higher education is funded by the state, the fees are very low; the tuition varies from €150 to €700 depending on the university and the different levels of education. (licence, master, doctorate). One can therefore get a master's degree (in 5 years) for about €750–3,500. Additionally, students from low-income families can apply for scholarships, paying nominal sums for tuition or textbooks, and can receive a monthly stipend of up to €450 per month.The tuition in public engineering schools is comparable to universities, albeit a little higher (around €700). However it can reach €7,000 a year for private engineering schools, and some business schools, which are all private or partially private, charge up to €15,000 a year.Health insurance for students is free until the age of 20 so only the costs of living and books have to be added. After the age of 20, the health insurance for students costs €200 a year and cover most of the medical expenses.Some public schools have other ways of gaining money. Some do not receive sufficient funds from the government for class trips and other extra activities and so these schools may ask for a small (optional) entrance fee for new students.

Universities in France

The public universities in France are named after the major cities near which they are located, followed by a numeral if there are several. Paris, for example, has thirteen universities, labelled Paris I to XIII. Some of these are not in Paris itself, but in the suburbs. In addition, most of the universities have taken a more informal name which is usually that of a famous person or a particular place. Sometimes, it is also a way to honor a famous alumnus, for example the science university in Strasbourg is known as "Université Louis Pasteur" while its official name is "Université Strasbourg I" (however, since 2009, the three universities of Strasbourg have been merged).The French system has undergone a reform, the Bologna process, which aims at creating European standards for university studies, most notably a similar time-frame everywhere, with three years devoted to the bachelor's degree ("licence" in French), two for the Master's, and three for the doctorate. French universities have also adopted the ECTS credit system (for example, a licence is worth 180 credits). However the traditional curriculum based on end of semester examinations still remains in place in most universities. This double standard has added complexity to a system which also remains quite rigid. It is difficult to change a major during undergraduate studies without losing a semester or even a whole year. Students usually also have few course selection options once they enroll in a particular diploma.France also hosts various branch colleges of foreign universities. These include Baruch College, the University of London Institute in Paris, Parsons Paris School of Art and Design and the American University of Paris.

Preparatory classes (CPGEs)

The Preparatory classes (in French "classes préparatoires aux grandes écoles" or CPGE), widely known as prépas, is a prep course with the main goal of training students for enrollment in a grande école. Admission to CPGEs is based on performance during the last two years of high school, called Première and Terminale. Only 5% of a generation is admitted to a prépa. CPGEs are usually located within high schools but pertain to tertiary education, which means that each student must have successfully passed their Baccalauréat (or equivalent) to be admitted in a CPGE. Each CPGE receives applications from hundreds of applicants worldwide every year in April and May, and selects students based on its own criteria. A few CPGEs, mainly the private ones (which account for 10% of CPGEs), also have an interview process or look at a student's involvement in the community.

Scientific CPGEs

The oldest CPGEs are the scientific ones, which can only be accessed by scientific Bacheliers. Scientific CPGE are called TSI ("Technology and Engineering Science"), MPSI ("Mathematics, Physics and Engineering Science"), PCSI ("Physics, Chemistry, and Engineering Science") or PTSI ("Physics, Technology, and Engineering Science") in the first year, MP ("Mathematics and Physics"), PSI ("Physics and Engineering Science"), PC ("Physics and Chemistry") or PT ("Physics and Technology") in the second year and BCPST ("Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Life and Earth Sciences").

First year CPGE students are called the "Math Sup"—or Hypotaupe—(Sup for "Classe de Mathématiques Supérieures", superior in French, meaning post-high school), and second years "Math Spé"—or Taupe—(Spés standing for "Classe de Mathématiques Spéciales", special in French). The students of these classes are called Taupins. Both the first and second year programmes include as much as twelve hours of mathematics teaching per week, ten hours of physics, two hours of philosophy, two to four hours of (one or two) foreign languages teaching and four to six hours of options: either chemistry, SI (Engineering Industrial Science) or Theoretical Computer Science (including some programming using the Pascal or CaML programming languages, as a practical work). With this is added several hours of homework, which can rise as much as the official hours of class. A known joke among those students is that they are becoming moles for two years, sometimes three. This is actually the origin of the nicknames taupe and taupin (taupe being the French word for a mole).

Business CPGEs

There are also CPGE which are focused on economics (who prepare the admission in business schools). These are known as "Prépa EC" (short for Economiques et Commerciales) and are divided into two parts : prépa ECS, which focuses more on mathematics, generally for those who graduated the scientific baccalaureat and prépa ECE, which focuses more on economics, for those who were in the economics section in high school.

Humanities CPGEs (Hypokhâgne and Khâgne)

The literary and humanities CPGEs have also their own nicknames, Hypokhâgne for the first year and Khâgne for the second year. The students are called the khâgneux. These classes prepare for schools such as the three Écoles Normales Supérieures, the Ecole des Chartes, and sometimes Sciences Po.There are two kinds of Khâgnes. The Khâgne de Lettres is the most common, and focuses on philosophy, French literature, history and languages. The Khâgne de Lettres et Sciences Sociales (Literature and Social Sciences), otherwise called Khâgne B/L, also includes mathematics and socio-economic sciences in addition to those literary subjects.The students of Hypokhâgne and Khâgne (the humanities CPGE) are simultaneously enrolled in universities, and can go back to university in case of failure or if they feel unable to pass the highly competitive entrance examinations for the Écoles Normales Supérieures.

Colles
The amount of work required of the students is exceptionally high. In addition to class time and homework, students spend several hours each week completing oral exams called colles (sometimes written 'khôlles' to look like a Greek word, this way of writing being initially a khâgneux's joke, since khâgneux study Ancient Greek). The colles are unique to French academic education in CPGEs.In scientific and business CPGEs, colles consist of oral examinations twice a week, in French, foreign languages (usually English, German, or Spanish), maths, physics, philosophy, or geopolitics—depending on the type of CPGE. Students, usually in groups of three or four, spend an hour facing a professor alone in a room, answering questions and solving problems.In humanities CPGEs, colles are usually taken every quarter in every subject. Students have one hour to prepare a short presentation that takes the form of a French-style dissertation (a methodologically codified essay, typically structured in 3 parts: thesis, counter-thesis, and synthesis) in history, philosophy, etc. on a given topic, or the form of a commentaire composé (a methodologically codified commentary) in literature and foreign languages. In Ancient Greek or Latin, they involve a translation and a commentary. The student then has 20 minutes to present his/her work to the teacher, who finally asks some questions on the presentation and on the corresponding topic.Colles are regarded as very stressful, particularly due to the high standards expected by the teachers, and the subsequent harshness that may be directed at students who do not perform adequately. But they are important insofar as they prepare the students, from the very first year, for the oral part of the highly competitive examinations, which are reserved for the happy few who successfully pass the written part.

Recruitment of teachers

Decades ago,primary school teachers were educated in Ecoles Normales and secondary teachers recruited through the "Agrégation" examination. The situation has been diversified by the introduction in the 1950s of the CAPES examination for secondary teachers and in the 1990s by the institution of "Instituts Universitaires de Formation des Maîtres" (IUFM), which have recently been renamed Écoles Supérieures du Professorat et de l’Éducation (ESPE). University teachers are recruited by special commissions, and are divided between:
  • "teachers-researchers" (enseignants-chercheurs), with at least a doctorate: they teach classes and conduct research in their field of expertise with a full tenure. They are either Maître de Conférences (Senior lecturers), or Professeurs (Professors). Only a Professor can be the director of studies for a PhD student. The net pay is from 2,300 to 8,800 (with extra duties) euros per month. Net salaries of over 4,000 euros per month (2011 level) are however very unusual, and limited to the small minority of teacher-researchers who have held the grade of first class full professor for at least seven years, which is rare. The maximum possible net salary for second-class full professors and chief senior lecturers (maître de conférence hors classe)—the end of career status for most full-time teacher-researchers in French universities—is 3,760 euros a month (2011)—and only a minority of this group ever reach this level.
  • Secondary school teachers who have been permanently assigned away from their original school position to teach in a university. They are not required to conduct any research but teach twice as many hours as the "teachers-researchers". They are called PRAG (professeurs agrégés) and PRCE (professeurs certifiés). Their weekly service is 15 or 18 hours. The net pay is from 1,400 to 3,900 euros per month.
  • CPGE teachers are usually "agrégés" or "chaire sup", assigned by the Inspection Général according to their qualifications and competitive exam rank as well as other factors. Their weekly service is about 9 hours a week, 25 or 33 weeks a year. Net pay : from 2,000 to 7,500 euro (extra hours)
  • Primary school and kindergarten teachers (Professeurs des écoles), educated in "Instituts Universitaires de Formation des Maîtres" (IUFM), have usually a "master" (Bac+5). Their weekly service is about 28 hours a week.

Religion

Religious instruction is not given by public schools (except for 6- to 18-year-old students in Alsace-Moselle under the Concordat of 1801). Laïcité (secularism) is one of the main precepts of the French republic.In a March 2004 ruling, the French government banned all "conspicuous religious symbols" from schools and other public institutions with the intent of preventing proselytisation and to foster a sense of tolerance among ethnic groups. Some religious groups showed their opposition, saying the law hindered the freedom of religion as protected by the French constitution.

Statistics

The French Republic has 67 million inhabitants, living in the 13 regions of metropolitan France and four overseas departments (2.7 million). Despite the fact that the population is growing (up 0.4% a year), the proportion of young people under 25 is falling. There are now[when?] fewer than 19 million young people in metropolitan France, or 32% of the total population, compared with 40% in the 1970s and 35% at the time of the 1990 census. France is seeing a slow aging of the population—less marked however than in other neighbouring countries (such as Germany and Italy), especially as the annual number of births is currently increasing slightly.Eighteen million pupils and students, i.e. a quarter of the population, are in the education system. Of these, over 2.4 million are in higher education. The French Education Minister reported in 2000 that 39 out of 75,000 state schools were "seriously violent" and 300 were "somewhat violent".


Thursday, January 10, 2019

Hemanta Mukherjee



Hemanta Mukherjee (16 June 1920 – 26 September 1989); often credited as Hemant Kumar outside Bengal) was an Indian film producer, playback singer and music director, who sang in Bengali, Hindi and other Indian languages. He is also one of the known artists of Rabindra Sangeet. He won two National awards for the category best male playback singer.

Early life

Hemanta was born in Varanasi, in the house of his maternal grandfather who was a leading physician. From the paternal side his family originated from Baharu of Jaynagar. They migrated to Kolkata in the early 1900s. Hemanta grew up there and attended Nasiruddin School and later Mitra Institution school of Bhawanipore area. There he met his longtime friend Subhas Mukhopadhyay who later became a Bengali poet. During this time, he developed a friendship with the noted writer Santosh Kumar Ghosh. At that time, Hemanta wrote short stories, Santosh Kumar wrote poems and Subhash Mukhopadhyay sang songs.After passing the intermediate examinations (12th grade), Hemanta joined Bengal Technical Institute at Jadavpur to pursue Engineering. However, he quit academics to pursue a career in music, despite objection from his father. He briefly tried literature and published a short story in the prestigious Bengali magazine called Desh, but by the late-1930s he was committed entirely to music.

Early music career




Under the influence of his friend Subhas Mukhopadhyay, Hemanta recorded his first song for All India Radio in 1935. The first line of the song was "Amar Ganete Ele Nabarupi Chirantanii." Hemanta's music career was primarily mentored by the Bengali musician, Sailesh Duttagupta. In his early life Hemanta used to follow the famous Bengali singer Pankaj Mullick. For this he was nicknamed as "Chhoto Pankaj". In an interview on television in the early 1980s, Hemanta had mentioned that he had also received classical music training from Ustad Faiyaz Khan's student Phanibhusan Banerjee, but his tutelage was cut short by the Ustad's untimely death.

In 1937, Hemanta cut his first gramophone disc under the Columbia label. The songs (non-film) on this disc were "Janite Jadi Go Tumi" and "Balo Go Balo More" whose lyrics were by Naresh Bhattacharya and music was composed by Sailesh Duttagupta. Thereafter, every year Hemanta continued to record non-film discs for the Gramophone Company of India (GCI) till 1984. His first Hindi songs were "Kitana Dukh Bhulaya Tumne" and "O Preet Nibhanewali", released in 1940 under GCI's Columbia label. Music for these songs were composed by Kamal Dasgupta; lyrics were by Faiyaz Hashmi.Hemanta's first film song was in the Bengali film Nimai Sanyas released in 1941. Music was scored by Hariprasanna Das. Hemanta's first compositions for himself were the Bengali non-film songs "Katha Kayonako Shudhu Shono" and "Amar Biraha Akashe Priya" in 1944. Lyrics were by Amiya Bagchi.His first Hindi film songs were in Irada (1944 film) in 1944 under Pt. Amarnath's music direction. Hemanta is considered the foremost exponent of Rabindra Sangeet. His first recorded Rabindra Sangeet was in the Bengali film Priya Bandhabi (1944).The song was "Pather Sesh Kothaye". He recorded his first non-film Rabindra Sangeet disc in 1944 under the Columbia label. The songs were "Aamar Aar Habe Na Deri" and "Keno Pantha E Chanchalata". Prior to that he had recorded the song " Aamaar mallikabone " in All India Radio/Akashvani but, unfortunately, the record has passed into oblivion.His first movie as a music director was the Bengali film Abhiyatri in 1947. Although many of the songs Hemanta recorded during this time received critical acclaim, major commercial success eluded him until 1947. Some contemporary male singers of Hemanta in Bengali were Jaganmay Mitra, Robin Majumdar, Satya Chowdhury, Dhananjay Bhattacharya, Sudhirlal Chakraborty, Bechu Dutta and Talat Mahmood.

Family

Hemanta had three brothers and a sister, Nilima. His elder brother, Tarajyoti, was a short-story writer in Bengali. The youngest brother, Amal Mukherjee, composed music as well as sang (Ehy Prithibithey Sharita Jibon) for some Bengali movies, most notably Hospital and Abak Prithibi. He recorded a few Bengali songs in the 1960s and also composed music for one of the most memorable renditions – " Jiboner Anekta Path Eklai.." – of Hemanta.In 1945, Hemanta married Bela Mukherjee (died 25 June 2009),[5] a singer from Bengal. Although Bela had sung some popular songs in the movie, Kashinath (1943), with music by Pankaj Mullick, she did not actively pursue her musical career after marriage. They had two children: a son, Jayant, and a daughter, Ranu. Ranu as Ranu Mukhopadhyay pursued a music career in the late 1960s and early 1970s, with somewhat limited success. Jayant is married to Moushumi Chatterjee, an Indian film actress who was popular in the 1970s.

Success and migration to Mumbai

In the mid-1940s, Hemanta became an active member of the Indian People's Theatre Association (IPTA) and started an association with another active IPTA member — songwriter and composer Salil Chowdhury. One of the main driving forces behind the establishment of IPTA was the Bengal famine of 1943 and the inaction of the British administration and wealthy Indians to prevent it.In 1947, Hemanta recorded a non-film song called "Ganyer badhu" ("The rural bride") that had music and lyrics by Salil Chowdhury. The six-minute song recorded on two sides of a 78 rpm disc was sung at a varying pace and lacked the conventional structure and romantic theme of a Bengali song. It depicted an idyllic, prosperous and caring rural woman's life and family and how it gets ravaged by the demons of famine and ensuing poverty. This song generated an unforeseen popularity for Hemanta and Salil in eastern India and, in a way, established Hemanta ahead of his male contemporaries. Hemanta and Salil paired again in several songs over the next few years. Almost all these songs proved to be very popular.

Around the same period, Hemanta started receiving more assignments for music composition for Bengali films. Some were for director Hemen Gupta. When Hemen moved to Mumbai a few years later, he called upon Hemanta to compose music for his first directorial venture in Hindi titled Anandmath under the Filmistan banner. Responding to this call, Hemanta migrated to Mumbai in 1951 and joined Filmistan Studios. The music of Anand Math (1952) was a moderate success. Perhaps, the most notable songs from this movie is 'Vande mataram' sung by Lata Mangeshkar, which Hemanta set to a marching tune. Following Anandamath, Hemanta scored music for a few Filmistan movies like Shart in subsequent years, the songs of which received moderate popularity. Simultaneously, Hemanta gained popularity in Mumbai as a playback singer. His songs playbacked for actor Dev Anand under music director Sachin Dev Burman in movies like Jaal ("Yeh raat, yeh chandni phir kahan ... "), House No. 44 ("Chup hai dharti, chup hai chand sitare... "), Solva Saal ("Hai apna dil to awara ..... "), Funtoosh ("Teri duniya mein jeene se ... "), and Baat ek raat ki ("Na tum hame jaano ..... "), became very popular and continues to be so. In the 1950s, he also play-backed for other heroes of Hindi films like Pradip Kumar (Nagin, Detective) and Sunil Dutt (Duniya Jhukti Hain) and later in the 1960s for Biswajeet (Bees saal Baad, Bin Badal Barsat, Kohra) and Dharmandra (Anupama); he was the music composer for all these films.

Career rise

By the mid-1950s, Hemanta had consolidated his position as a prominent singer and composer. In Bengal, he was one of the foremost exponents of Rabindra Sangeet and perhaps the most sought-after male singer. In a ceremony organised by Hemanta Mukherjee to honour Debabrata Biswas (1911–1980), the legendary Rabindra Sangeet exponent, in Calcutta in March 1980, Debabrata Biswas unhesitatingly mentioned Hemanta as "the second hero" to popularise Rabindra Sangeet, the first being the legendary Pankaj Kumar Mallick. In Mumbai, along with playback singing, Hemanta carved a niche as a composer. He composed music for a Hindi film called Nagin (1954) which became a major success owing largely to its music. Songs of Nagin remained chart-toppers continuously for two years and culminated in Hemant receiving the prestigious Filmfare Best Music Director Award in 1955. The very same year, he scored music for a Bengali movie called Shapmochan in which he played back four songs for the Bengali actor Uttam Kumar. This started a long partnership between Hemant and Uttam as a playback singer-actor pair. They were the most popular singer-actor duo in Bengali cinema over the next decade.

In the latter part of the 1950s, Hemanta composed music and sang for several Bengali and Hindi films, recorded several Rabindra Sangeet and Bengali non-film songs. Almost all of these, especially his Bengali songs, became very popular. This period can be seen as the zenith of his career and lasted for almost a decade. He sang songs composed by the major music directors in Bengal such as Nachiketa Ghosh, Robin Chatterjee and Salil Chowdhury. Some of the notable films Hemanta himself composed music for during this period include Harano Sur, Marutirtha Hinglaj, Neel Akasher Neechey, Lukochuri, Swaralipi, Deep Jwele Jaai, Shesh Parjanta, Kuhak, Dui Bhai, and Saptapadi in Bengali, and, Jagriti and Ek Hi Raasta in Hindi.

Movie production

In the late 1950s, Hemanta ventured into movie production under his own banner: Hemanta-Bela productions. The first movie under this banner was a Bengali film directed by Mrinal Sen, titled Neel Akasher Neechey (1959). The story was based on the travails of a Chinese street hawker in Calcutta in the backdrop of India's freedom struggle. The movie went on to win the President's Gold Medal — the highest honour for a movie from Government of India. In the next decade, Hemanta's production company was renamed Geetanjali productions and it produced several Hindi movies such as Bees Saal Baad, Kohraa, Biwi Aur Makaan, Faraar, Rahgir and Khamoshi — all of which had music by Hemanta. Only Bees Saal Baad and Khamoshi were major commercial successes.Back in Bengal, Hemanta scored music for a movie titled Palatak in 1963 where he experimented with merging Bengal folk music and light music. This proved to be a major success and Hemanta's composition style changed noticeably for many of his future films in Bengal such as Baghini, and Balika Badhu. In Bengali films Manihar and Adwitiya, both of which were major musical as well as commercial successes, his compositions had a light classical tinge. In 1961, for commemorating Rabindranath Tagore's birth centenary, Gramophone company of India featured Rabindrasangeet by Hemanta in a large portion of its commemorative output. This too proved to be a major commercial success. Hemanta went on several overseas concert tours including his trip to the West Indies. Overall, in the 1960s decade he retained his position as the major male singer in Bengal and as a composer and singer to be reckoned with in Hindi films.

In the 1960s he was the predominant and lead male voice in many of Tagore's musical dramas like Valmiki Pratibha, Shyama, Sapmochan, Chitrangada and Chandalika. With Kanika Bandopadhyay (1924–2000) and Suchitra Mitra (1924–2010), who were the lead female voices in these, he was part of the Rabindra Sangeet triumvirate that was popular and respected. It was referred as 'Hemanta-Kanika-Suchitra' and, with Debabrata Biswas, this quartet was and continues to be the mostly heard exponents of Tagore compositions. Asoktaru Bandopadhyay, Chinmoy Chattopadhyay, Sagar Sen, Sumitra Sen and Ritu Guha were the other leading exponents of Rabindra Sangeet at that time.

Later career


In the 1970s, Hemanta's contribution in Hindi films was nominal. He scored music for a handful of his home productions, but none of these movies were successful nor their music. In Bengal, however, he remained the foremost exponent of Rabindra Sangeet, film and non-film songs. His output continued to be popular for most of the decade. Some of them are Jodi jante chao tumi... (1972), Ek gochha rajanigandha , Aamay prasno kore nil dhrubatara..., Sedin tomay dekhechilam... (1974), Khirki theke singho duar... (Stree, 1971), Ke jane ko ghonta... (Sonar Khancha, 1974), Jeona daraon bandhu... (Phuleswari, 1975 ) and popularised Rabindra sangeet using them beautifully in films as per situations. A very popular and classic example is the song Chorono dhorite diyogo amare.. in Dadar Kirti (1980). In 1971, Hemanta debuted as a film director in for his self-produced Bengali movie Anindita. It didn't fare exceedingly well at the box office. However, his rendition Diner seshe ghumer deshe.. was one of his best and popular Rabindra Sangeet renditions . In the same year Hemanta went to Hollywood by responding to famous film director Conrad Rooks and score the music of Conrad's Siddhartha and played back [ O Nadire... ( composed and sang by him earlier in Neel Aakaser Niche )] in that film. He was the first Indian singer to play back in Hollywood. The US government honoured Hemanta by conferring him with the citizenship of Baltimore, Maryland; the first ever singer of India to get USA citizenship. In the early to mid-1970s, two major music composers in Bengal, Nachiketa Ghosh and Robin Chatterjee, who had worked closely with Hemanta, since the early 1950s, died. Simultaneously, music composed by Hemanta for Bengali films like Phuleswari, Raag Anurag, " Ganadebata " and Dadar Kirti established him as the major film music composer in the Bengal movie scene. In 1979, Hemanta re-recorded some of his earlier works with composer Salil Chowdhury from the 1940s and 1950s.This album, titled Legend of Glory, vol. 2 was a major commercial success, despite Hemanta's aged and slightly tired voice.

In 1980, Hemanta had a heart attack that severely affected his vocal capabilities, especially his breath control. He continued to record songs in the early eighties, but his voice was a shade of its rich baritone past. In 1984, Hemanta was felicitated by different organizations, most notably by the Gramophone Company of India, for completing 50 years in music. That very year Hemanta released his last album with Gramophone Company of India — a 45 rpm extended play disc with four non-film songs. Over the next few years, Hemanta released few non-film songs for small-time companies that had cropped up in the nascent cassette-based music industry. Only a few of these were commercially successful. He composed music for a handful of Bengali movies and one Bengali and one Hindi tele-series. However, by this time he had become an institution, a beloved and revered personality who was a courteous and friendly gentleman. His philanthropic activities included running a homeopathic hospital in memory of his late father in their native village in Baharu, in the South 24 Parganas district of West Bengal. He continued to feature regularly on All India Radio, Doordarshan (TV) and live programmes/concerts during this period.In a television interview, recorded in early 1990s, to noted elocutionist Gauri Ghosh, his wife Bela Mukherjee recalled that she never knew during his lifetime the number of families and persons he helped to put up financially or otherwise; only after his departure that this truth gradually unveiled.In 1987, he was nominated for Padmabhushan which he refused politely, having already turned down a previous offer to receive Padmashree in the 1970s. In this year, he was publicly felicitated in Netaji Indoor Stadium in Calcutta for completing 50 years in musical journey, where, Lata Mangeshkar presented him with the memento on behalf of his fans and admirers.Despite his ageing voice, he became the Best Male Singer in 1988 for his rendition in the film "Lalan Fakir".In September 1989 he travelled to Dhaka, Bangladesh to receive the Michael Madhusudan Award, as well as to perform a concert. Immediately after returning from this trip he suffered another heart attack on 26 September and died at 11:15 pm in a nursing home in South Calcutta.

Legacy

Nearly two decades after his death the Gramophone Company of India releases at least one album by Hemanta Mukhopadhyay every year, repackaging his older songs, because of the commercial viability of his songs. His legacy still lives on through the songs he has recorded, music he has composed, and through many male singers in Bengal and the rest of India who continue to imitate/emulate his singing style.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Computer


Intro:

A computer is a device that can be instructed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically via computer programming. Modern computers have the ability to follow generalized sets of operations, called programs. These programs enable computers to perform an extremely wide range of tasks.Computers are used as control systems for a wide variety of industrial and consumer devices. This includes simple special purpose devices like microwave ovens and remote controls, factory devices such as industrial robots and computer-aided design, and also general purpose devices like personal computers and mobile devices such as smartphones.
Early computers were only conceived as calculating devices. Since ancient times, simple manual devices like the abacus aided people in doing calculations. Early in the Industrial Revolution, some mechanical devices were built to automate long tedious tasks, such as guiding patterns for looms. More sophisticated electrical machines did specialized analog calculations in the early 20th century. The first digital electronic calculating machines were developed during World War II. The speed, power, and versatility of computers have been increasing dramatically ever since then.

Conventionally, a modern computer consists of at least one processing element, typically a central processing unit (CPU), and some form of memory. The processing element carries out arithmetic and logical operations, and a sequencing and control unit can change the order of operations in response to stored information. Peripheral devices include input devices (keyboards, mice, joystick, etc.), output devices (monitor screens, printers, etc.), and input/output devices that perform both functions (e.g., the 2000s-era touchscreen). Peripheral devices allow information to be retrieved from an external source and they enable the result of operations to be saved and retrieved.

Etymology


According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the first known use of the word "computer" was in 1613 in a book called The Yong Mans Gleanings by English writer Richard Braithwait: "I haue  read the truest computer of Times, and the best Arithmetician that euer  breathed, and he reduceth thy dayes into a short number." This usage of the term referred to a human computer, a person who carried out calculations or computations. The word continued with the same meaning until the middle of the 20th century. Originally, women were often hired as "human computers" because they could be paid less than their male counterparts. By 1943, most human computers were women. From the end of the 19th century the word began to take on its more familiar meaning, a machine that carries out computations.The Online Etymology Dictionary gives the first attested use of "computer" in the "1640s,  "one who calculates,"; this is an "... agent noun from compute (v.)". The Online Etymology Dictionary states that the use of the term to mean "calculating machine" (of any type) is from 1897." The Online Etymology Dictionary indicates that the "modern use" of the term, to mean "programmable digital electronic computer" dates from "... 1945 under this name; theoretical from 1937, as Turing machine".

Pre-20th century

Devices have been used to aid computation for thousands of years, mostly using one-to-one correspondence with fingers. The earliest counting device was probably a form of tally stick. Later record keeping aids throughout the Fertile Crescent included calculi (clay spheres, cones, etc.) which represented counts of items, probably livestock or grains, sealed in hollow unbaked clay containers.The use of counting rods is one example.The abacus was initially used for arithmetic tasks. The Roman abacus was developed from devices used in Babylonia as early as 2400 BC. Since then, many other forms of reckoning boards or tables have been invented. In a medieval European counting house, a checkered cloth would be placed on a table, and markers moved around on it according to certain rules, as an aid to calculating sums of money.The Antikythera mechanism is believed to be the earliest mechanical analog "computer", according to Derek J. de Solla Price.It was designed to calculate astronomical positions. It was discovered in 1901 in the Antikythera wreck off the Greek island of Antikythera, between Kythera and Crete, and has been dated to c.?100 BC. Devices of a level of complexity comparable to that of the Antikythera mechanism would not reappear until a thousand years later.Many mechanical aids to calculation and measurement were constructed for astronomical and navigation use. The planisphere was a star chart invented by Abu Rayhan al-Biruni in the early 11th century.The astrolabe was invented in the Hellenistic world in either the 1st or 2nd centuries BC and is often attributed to Hipparchus. A combination of the planisphere and dioptra, the astrolabe was effectively an analog computer capable of working out several different kinds of problems in spherical astronomy. An astrolabe incorporating a mechanical calendar computer and gear-wheels was invented by Abi Bakr of Isfahan, Persia in 1235.Abu Rayhan al-Biruni invented the first mechanical geared lunisolar calendar astrolabe, an early fixed-wired knowledge processing machine with a gear train and gear-wheels,c.?1000 AD.The sector, a calculating instrument used for solving problems in proportion, trigonometry, multiplication and division, and for various functions, such as squares and cube roots, was developed in the late 16th century and found application in gunnery, surveying and navigation.

The planimeter was a manual instrument to calculate the area of a closed figure by tracing over it with a mechanical linkage.The slide rule was invented around 1620–1630, shortly after the publication of the concept of the logarithm. It is a hand-operated analog computer for doing multiplication and division. As slide rule development progressed, added scales provided reciprocals, squares and square roots, cubes and cube roots, as well as transcendental functions such as logarithms and exponentials, circular and hyperbolic trigonometry and other functions. Slide rules with special scales are still used for quick performance of routine calculations, such as the E6B circular slide rule used for time and distance calculations on light aircraft.In the 1770s, Pierre Jaquet-Droz, a Swiss watchmaker, built a mechanical doll (automaton) that could write holding a quill pen. By switching the number and order of its internal wheels different letters, and hence different messages, could be produced. In effect, it could be mechanically "programmed" to read instructions. Along with two other complex machines, the doll is at the Musée d'Art et d'Histoire of Neuchâtel, Switzerland, and still operates.The tide-predicting machine invented by Sir William Thomson in 1872 was of great utility to navigation in shallow waters. It used a system of pulleys and wires to automatically calculate predicted tide levels for a set period at a particular location.The differential analyser, a mechanical analog computer designed to solve differential equations by integration, used wheel-and-disc mechanisms to perform the integration. In 1876, Lord Kelvin had already discussed the possible construction of such calculators, but he had been stymied by the limited output torque of the ball-and-disk integrators. In a differential analyzer, the output of one integrator drove the input of the next integrator, or a graphing output. The torque amplifier was the advance that allowed these machines to work. Starting in the 1920s, Vannevar Bush and others developed mechanical differential analyzers.

First computing device

Charles Babbage, an English mechanical engineer and polymath, originated the concept of a programmable computer. Considered the "father of the computer", he conceptualized and invented the first mechanical computer in the early 19th century. After working on his revolutionary difference engine, designed to aid in navigational calculations, in 1833 he realized that a much more general design, an Analytical Engine, was possible. The input of programs and data was to be provided to the machine via punched cards, a method being used at the time to direct mechanical looms such as the Jacquard loom. For output, the machine would have a printer, a curve plotter and a bell. The machine would also be able to punch numbers onto cards to be read in later. The Engine incorporated an arithmetic logic unit, control flow in the form of conditional branching and loops, and integrated memory, making it the first design for a general-purpose computer that could be described in modern terms as Turing-complete.The machine was about a century ahead of its time. All the parts for his machine had to be made by hand – this was a major problem for a device with thousands of parts. Eventually, the project was dissolved with the decision of the British Government to cease funding. Babbage's failure to complete the analytical engine can be chiefly attributed to difficulties not only of politics and financing, but also to his desire to develop an increasingly sophisticated computer and to move ahead faster than anyone else could follow. Nevertheless, his son, Henry Babbage, completed a simplified version of the analytical engine's computing unit (the mill) in 1888. He gave a successful demonstration of its use in computing tables in 1906.

Analog computers

During the first half of the 20th century, many scientific computing needs were met by increasingly sophisticated analog computers, which used a direct mechanical or electrical model of the problem as a basis for computation. However, these were not programmable and generally lacked the versatility and accuracy of modern digital computers.The first modern analog computer was a tide-predicting machine, invented by Sir William Thomson in 1872. The differential analyser, a mechanical analog computer designed to solve differential equations by integration using wheel-and-disc mechanisms, was conceptualized in 1876 by James Thomson, the brother of the more famous Lord Kelvin.
The art of mechanical analog computing reached its zenith with the differential analyzer, built by H. L. Hazen and Vannevar Bush at MIT starting in 1927. This built on the mechanical integrators of James Thomson and the torque amplifiers invented by H. W. Nieman. A dozen of these devices were built before their obsolescence became obvious. By the 1950s, the success of digital electronic computers had spelled the end for most analog computing machines, but analog computers remained in use during the 1950s in some specialized applications such as education (control systems) and aircraft (slide rule).

Digital computers


By 1938, the United States Navy had developed an electromechanical analog computer small enough to use aboard a submarine. This was the Torpedo Data Computer, which used trigonometry to solve the problem of firing a torpedo at a moving target. During World War II similar devices were developed in other countries as well.Early digital computers were electromechanical; electric switches drove mechanical relays to perform the calculation. These devices had a low operating speed and were eventually superseded by much faster all-electric computers, originally using vacuum tubes. The Z2, created by German engineer Konrad Zuse in 1939, was one of the earliest examples of an electromechanical relay computer.In 1941, Zuse followed his earlier machine up with the Z3, the world's first working electromechanical programmable, fully automatic digital computer.The Z3 was built with 2000 relays, implementing a 22 bit word length that operated at a clock frequency of about 5–10 Hz.Program code was supplied on punched film while data could be stored in 64 words of memory or supplied from the keyboard. It was quite similar to modern machines in some respects, pioneering numerous advances such as floating point numbers. Rather than the harder-to-implement decimal system (used in Charles Babbage's earlier design), using a binary system meant that Zuse's machines were easier to build and potentially more reliable, given the technologies available at that time.The Z3 was Turing complete.

Modern computers

Concept of modern computer

The principle of the modern computer was proposed by Alan Turing in his seminal 1936 paper, On Computable Numbers. Turing proposed a simple device that he called "Universal Computing machine" and that is now known as a universal Turing machine. He proved that such a machine is capable of computing anything that is computable by executing instructions (program) stored on tape, allowing the machine to be programmable. The fundamental concept of Turing's design is the stored program, where all the instructions for computing are stored in memory. Von Neumann acknowledged that the central concept of the modern computer was due to this paper.Turing machines are to this day a central object of study in theory of computation. Except for the limitations imposed by their finite memory stores, modern computers are said to be Turing-complete, which is to say, they have algorithm execution capability equivalent to a universal Turing machine.

Stored programs

Early computing machines had fixed programs. Changing its function required the re-wiring and re-structuring of the machine.With the proposal of the stored-program computer this changed. A stored-program computer includes by design an instruction set and can store in memory a set of instructions (a program) that details the computation. The theoretical basis for the stored-program computer was laid by Alan Turing in his 1936 paper. In 1945, Turing joined the National Physical Laboratory and began work on developing an electronic stored-program digital computer. His 1945 report "Proposed Electronic Calculator" was the first specification for such a device. John von Neumann at the University of Pennsylvania also circulated his First Draft of a Report on the EDVAC in 1945.
The Manchester Baby was the world's first stored-program computer. It was built at the Victoria University of Manchester by Frederic C. Williams, Tom Kilburn and Geoff Tootill, and ran its first program on 21 June 1948.It was designed as a testbed for the Williams tube, the first random-access digital storage device.Although the computer was considered "small and primitive" by the standards of its time, it was the first working machine to contain all of the elements essential to a modern electronic computer.As soon as the Baby had demonstrated the feasibility of its design, a project was initiated at the university to develop it into a more usable computer, the Manchester Mark 1. Grace Hopper was the first person to develop a compiler for programming language.The Mark 1 in turn quickly became the prototype for the Ferranti Mark 1, the world's first commercially available general-purpose computer.Built by Ferranti, it was delivered to the University of Manchester in February 1951. At least seven of these later machines were delivered between 1953 and 1957, one of them to Shell labs in Amsterdam. In October 1947, the directors of British catering company J. Lyons & Company decided to take an active role in promoting the commercial development of computers. The LEO I computer became operational in April 1951 and ran the world's first regular routine office computer job.

Transistors

The bipolar transistor was invented in 1947. From 1955 onwards transistors replaced vacuum tubes in computer designs, giving rise to the "second generation" of computers. Compared to vacuum tubes, transistors have many advantages: they are smaller, and require less power than vacuum tubes, so give off less heat. Silicon junction transistors were much more reliable than vacuum tubes and had longer, indefinite, service life. Transistorized computers could contain tens of thousands of binary logic circuits in a relatively compact space.At the University of Manchester, a team under the leadership of Tom Kilburn designed and built a machine using the newly developed transistors instead of valves.Their first transistorised computer and the first in the world, was operational by 1953, and a second version was completed there in April 1955. However, the machine did make use of valves to generate its 125 kHz clock waveforms and in the circuitry to read and write on its magnetic drum memory, so it was not the first completely transistorized computer. That distinction goes to the Harwell CADET of 1955, built by the electronics division of the Atomic Energy Research Establishment at Harwell.

Integrated circuits

The next great advance in computing power came with the advent of the integrated circuit. The idea of the integrated circuit was first conceived by a radar scientist working for the Royal Radar Establishment of the Ministry of Defence, Geoffrey W.A. Dummer. Dummer presented the first public description of an integrated circuit at the Symposium on Progress in Quality Electronic Components in Washington, D.C. on 7 May 1952.The first practical ICs were invented by Jack Kilby at Texas Instruments and Robert Noyce at Fairchild Semiconductor.Kilby recorded his initial ideas concerning the integrated circuit in July 1958, successfully demonstrating the first working integrated example on 12 September 1958.In his patent application of 6 February 1959, Kilby described his new device as "a body of semiconductor material ... wherein all the components of the electronic circuit are completely integrated". Noyce also came up with his own idea of an integrated circuit half a year later than Kilby. His chip solved many practical problems that Kilby's had not. Produced at Fairchild Semiconductor, it was made of silicon, whereas Kilby's chip was made of germanium.This new development heralded an explosion in the commercial and personal use of computers and led to the invention of the microprocessor. While the subject of exactly which device was the first microprocessor is contentious, partly due to lack of agreement on the exact definition of the term "microprocessor", it is largely undisputed that the first single-chip microprocessor was the Intel 4004, designed and realized by Ted Hoff, Federico Faggin, and Stanley Mazor at Intel.

Mobile computers

The first mobile computers were heavy and ran from mains power. The 50lb IBM 5100 was an early example. Later portables such as the Osborne 1 and Compaq Portable were considerably lighter, but still needed to be plugged in. The first laptops, such as the Grid Compass, removed this requirement by incorporating batteries – and with the continued miniaturization of computing resources and advancements in portable battery life, portable computers grew in popularity in the 2000s.The same developments allowed manufacturers to integrate computing resources into cellular phones.These smartphones and tablets run on a variety of operating systems and soon became the dominant computing device on the market, with manufacturers reporting having shipped an estimated 237 million devices in 2Q 2013.




Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Teacher education



Teacher education (TE) or teacher training refers to the policies, procedures, and provision designed to equip (prospective) teachers with the knowledge, attitudes, behaviors, and skills they require to perform their tasks effectively in the classroom, school, and wider community. The professionals who engage in this activity are called teacher educators.There is a longstanding and ongoing debate about the most appropriate term to describe these activities. The term 'teacher training' (which may give the impression that the activity involves training staff to undertake relatively routine tasks) seems to be losing ground, at least in the U.S., to 'teacher education' (with its connotation of preparing staff for a professional role as a reflective practitioner).

Policy and related issues

The process by which teachers are educated is the subject of political discussion in many countries, reflecting both the value attached by societies and cultures to the preparation of young people for life, and the fact that education systems consume significant financial resources.

However, the degree of political control over Teacher Education varies. Where TE is entirely in the hands of universities, the state may have no direct control whatever over what or how new teachers are taught; this can lead to anomalies, such as teachers being taught using teaching methods that would be deemed inappropriate if they used the same methods in schools, or teachers being taught by persons with little or no hands-on experience of teaching in real classrooms. In other systems, TE may be the subject of detailed prescription (e.g. the state may specify the skills that all teachers must possess, or it may specify the content of TE courses).Policy cooperation in the European Union (EU) has led to a broad description of the kinds of attributes that teachers in EU Member States should possess: the Common European Principle for Teacher Competences and Qualifications.

Initial


Organization


In many countries, Initial Teacher Education (also known as preservice teacher training) takes place largely or exclusively in institutions of Higher Education. It may be organized according to two basic models.In the 'consecutive' model, a teacher first obtains a qualification in one or more subjects (often an undergraduate bachelor's degree), and then studies for a further period to gain an additional qualification in teaching (this may take the form of a post-baccalaureate credential or master's degree).In the alternative 'concurrent' model, a student simultaneously studies both one or more academic subjects, and the ways of teaching that subject, leading to a combined bachelor's degree and teaching credential to qualify as a teacher of that subject.Other pathways are also available. In some countries, it is possible for a person to receive training as a teacher by working in a school under the responsibility of an accredited experienced practitioner. In the United Kingdom there is a long tradition of partnerships between universities and schools in providing state supported teacher education.This tradition is not without tensions and controversies.

In the United States, approximately one-third of new teachers come through alternative routes to teacher certification, according to testimony given by Emily Feistritzer, the President of National Center for Alternative Certification and the National Center for Education Information, to a congressional subcommittee on May 17, 2007. However, many alternative pathways are affiliated with schools of education, where candidates still enroll in university-based coursework. A supplemental component of university-based coursework is community-based teacher education, where teacher candidates immerse themselves in communities that will allow them to apply teaching theory to practice. Community-based teacher education also challenges teacher candidates' assumptions about the issues of gender, race, and multicultural diversity.

Curriculum

The question of what knowledge, attitudes, behaviours and skills teachers should possess is the subject of much debate in many cultures. This is understandable, as teachers are entrusted with the transmission to learners of society's beliefs, attitudes and deontology, as well as of information, advice and wisdom, and with facilitating learners' acquisition of the key knowledge, attitudes and behaviours that they will need to be active in society and the economy.

Generally, Teacher Education curricula can be broken down into four major areas:


  • foundational knowledge in education-related aspects of philosophy of education, history of education, educational psychology, and sociology of education.
  • skills in assessing student learning, supporting English Language learners, using technology to improve teaching and learning, and supporting students with special needs.
  • content-area and methods knowledge and skills—often also including ways of teaching and assessing a specific subject, in which case this area may overlap with the first ("foundational") area. There is increasing debate about this aspect; because it is no longer possible to know in advance what kinds of knowledge and skill pupils will need when they enter adult life, it becomes harder to know what kinds of knowledge and skill teachers should have. Increasingly, emphasis is placed upon 'transversal' or 'horizontal' skills (such as 'learning to learn' or 'social competences'), which cut across traditional subject boundaries, and therefore call into question traditional ways of designing the Teacher Education curriculum (and traditional school curricula and ways of working in the classroom).
  • practice at classroom teaching or at some other form of educational practice—usually supervised and supported in some way, though not always. Practice can take the form of field observations, student teaching, or (U.S.) internship.
Rural

Those training to teach in rural and remote areas face different challenges from those who teach in urban centres.Therefore, a different approach to teacher education is needed for those who aspire to each in rural and remote areas. It has been proposed that rural and remote communities may have more success recruiting teachers who already live in these communities, rather than trying to recruit urbanites to move to rural communities once they have completed their teacher training.Online and blended teacher education programs are becoming more prevalent to help meet the needs of teacher shortages in rural and remote areas.

Supervised field experiences

  • field observations—include observation and limited participation within a classroom under the supervision of the classroom teacher
  • student teaching—includes a number of weeks teaching in an assigned classroom under the supervision of the classroom teacher and a supervisor (e.g. from the university)
  • internship—teaching candidate is supervised within his or her own classroom

These three areas reflect the organization of most teacher education programs in North America (though not necessarily elsewhere in the world)—courses, modules, and other activities are often organized to belong to one of the three major areas of teacher education. The organization makes the programs more rational or logical in structure. The conventional organization has sometimes also been criticized, however, as artificial and unrepresentative of how teachers actually experience their work. Problems of practice frequently (perhaps usually) concern foundational issues, curriculum, and practical knowledge simultaneously, and separating them during teacher education may therefore not be helpful. However, the question of necessary training components is highly debated as continuing increases in attrition rates by new teachers and struggling learners is evident.Additionally, with the increasing demands of the "teacher" research is beginning to suggest that teachers must not only be trained to increase learning experiences for their students, but how to also be a leader in an increasingly challenging field.The debate of how best to prepare teachers for teaching in today's demanding environments will continue to be an important focus of the United States, where the education of all children successfully is priority.

Induction of beginning teachers

Teaching involves the use of a wide body of knowledge about the subject being taught, and another set of knowledge about the most effective ways to teach that subject to different kinds of learner; it, therefore, requires teachers to undertake a complex set of tasks every minute. Many teachers experience their first years in the profession as stressful. The proportion of teachers who either do not enter the profession after completing initial training, or who leave the profession after their first teaching post, is high.A distinction is sometimes made between inducting a teacher into a new school (explaining the school's vision, procedures etc.), and inducting a new teacher into the teaching profession (providing the support necessary to help the beginning teacher develop a professional identity, and to further develop the basic competences that were acquired in college).A number of countries and states have put in place comprehensive systems of support to help beginning teachers during their first years in the profession. Elements of such a programme can include:

  • mentoring: the allocation to each beginning teacher of an experienced teacher, specifically trained as a mentor; the mentor may provide emotional and professional support and guidance; in many U.S. states, induction is limited to the provision of a mentor, but research suggests that, in itself, it is not enough.
  • a peer network: for mutual support but also for peer learning.
  • input from educational experts (e.g. to help the beginning teacher relate what she learned in college with classroom reality).
  • support for the process of self-reflection that all teachers engage in (e.g. through the keeping of a journal).

Some research suggests that such programmes can: increase the retention of beginning teachers in the profession; improve teaching performance; promote the teachers' personal and professional well-being.

However, numerous authors  suggest that current teacher education is highly flawed and primarily geared towards a western dominated curriculum.Hence, they suggest that teacher education should be inclusive and take into account multiple backgrounds and variables to allow teachers to be responsive to the requirements of their students.This falls into the area of culturally responsive teaching and requires teaching education and teachers to address issues of diversity education and disadvantage as a part of a teacher education curriculum. Jabbar & Hardaker (2013) argue that this is an essential process in helping students of ethnicity, colour and diversity achieve and attain.

Quality assurance in teacher education

The concept of 'Quality' in education is contested and understood in numerous different ways.
It is sometimes taken to relate to the quality of the work undertaken by a teacher, which has significant effects upon his or her pupils or students. Further, those who pay teachers' salaries, whether through taxes or through school fees, wish to be assured that they are receiving value for money. Ways to measure the quality of work of individual teachers, of schools, or of education systems as a whole, are therefore often sought.In most countries, teacher salary is not related to the perceived quality of his or her work. Some, however, have systems to identify the 'best-performing' teachers, and increase their remuneration accordingly. Elsewhere, assessments of teacher performance may be undertaken with a view to identifying teachers' needs for additional training or development, or, in extreme cases, to identify those teachers that should be required to leave the profession. In some countries, teachers are required to re-apply periodically for their license to teach, and in so doing, to prove that they still have the requisite skills.Feedback on the performance of teachers is integral to many state and private education procedures, but takes many different forms. The 'no fault' approach is believed by some to be satisfactory, as weaknesses are carefully identified, assessed and then addressed through the provision of in house or school based training. These can, however, be seen as benefiting the institution and not necessarily fully meeting the CPD needs of the individual as they lack educational gravitas.

Teacher educators

A teacher educator (also called a teacher trainer) is a person who helps other people to acquire the knowledge, competences and attitudes they require to be effective teachers. Several individual teacher educators are usually involved in the initial or ongoing education of each teacher; often each specialises in teaching about a different aspect of teaching (e.g. educational ethics, philosophy of education, sociology of education, curriculum, pedagogy, subject-specific teaching methods etc.).
Not every culture has a concept that precisely matches the English term 'teacher educator'...Even where the concept exists, the range of roles that is covered by the term varies significantly from country to country.In some traditions, the term 'teacher trainer' may be used instead of 'teacher educator'.A teacher educator may be narrowly defined as a higher education professional whose principle activity is the preparation of beginning teachers in universities and other institutions of teacher education, such as teacher colleges. A broader definition might include any professional whose work contributes in some way to the initial education or the continuing professional development of school and other teachers.

Even within a single educational system, teacher educators may be employed in different roles by different kinds of organisation. In the European context, for example, people who could be considered to be teacher educators include:

-Higher Education academics with a responsibility
--for Teacher Education as such,
--for teaching a subject (such as chemistry or mathematics) to students who will later become teachers;
--for research into teaching,
--for subject studies or
--for didactics;
-teachers in schools who supervise student teachers during periods of teaching practice;
-school teachers or school managers responsible for inducting new teachers during their first year of teaching; or
-those in charge of school teaching staff’s continuous professional development.
Teacher educators may therefore work in many different contexts including (universities, schools, private sector training organisations or trade unions) and their working time may be fully, or only partly, dedicated to the preparation of teachers.

Professional standards for teacher educators

In some parts of the world (notably the United States, Flanders and the Netherlands) specific standards of professional practice have been developed for, or by, teacher educators. These set out the range of competences that a member of the teacher educator profession is expected to be able to deploy, as well as the attitudes, values and behaviours that are deemed to be acceptable for membership of the profession).

Policy and legislation on the teacher educator profession

While schools and school teachers are often in the news and in political debate, research shows that the teacher educator profession is largely absent from such public discussions and from policy discourse in Education which often focuses exclusively on teachers and school leaders.Some research suggests that, while most countries have policies, and legislation, in place concerning the teaching profession, few countries have a clear policy or strategy on the teacher educator profession. Caena (2012) found that some of the consequences of this situation can include a teacher educator profession that is poorly organised, has low status or low formal recognition, has few regulations, professional standards - or even minimum qualifications, and no coherent approach to the selection, induction, or continuing professional development of Teacher Educators.In India, the National Council of Teacher Education (NCTE) released the 'National Curricular Framework for Teacher Education, 2010 (NCFTE), which aims to remedy many of the ills of teacher training in India. It calls for preparing a 'humane and reflective practitioner' and for fostering the agency and autonomy of the teacher, who can interpret the curriculum meaningfully to the contextual needs of the learners, than merely focus on 'teaching the text book'.

Research into the teacher educator profession

The teacher educator profession has also been seen as under-researched; empirical research on professional practice is also scarce.
However, the importance of the quality of this profession for the quality of teaching and learning has been underlined by international bodies including the OECD and the European Commission. Some writers have therefore identified a need for more research into “what teachers of teachers themselves need to know”, and what institutional supports are needed to “meet the complex demands of preparing teachers for the 21st century.”In response to this perceived need, more research projects are now focussing on the teacher educator profession.Several academic journals cover this field.












Monday, January 7, 2019

Rabindranath Tagore on education






Rabindranath Tagore on education. As one of the earliest educators to think in terms of the global village, Rabindranath Tagore’s educational model has a unique sensitivity and aptness for education within multi-racial, multi-lingual and multi-cultural situations, amidst conditions of acknowledged economic discrepancy and political imbalance. Kathleen M. O’Connell explores Rabindranath Tagore’s contribution.

Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941), Asia’s first Nobel Laureate, was born into a prominent Calcutta family known for its socio-religious and cultural innovations during the 19th Bengal Renaissance. The profound social and cultural involvement of his family would later play a strong role in the formulation of Rabindranath’s educational priorities. His grandfather Dwarkanath was involved in supporting medical facilities, educational institutions and the arts, and he fought for religious and social reform and the establishment of a free press. His father was also a leader in social and religious reform, who encouraged a multi-cultural exchange in the family mansion Jorasanko. Within the joint family, Rabindranath’s thirteen brothers and sisters were mathematicians, journalists, novelists, musicians, artists. His cousins, who shared the family mansion, were leaders in theatre, science and a new art movement.The tremendous excitement and cultural richness of his extended family permitted young Rabindranath to absorb and learn subconsciously at his own pace, giving him a dynamic open model of education, which he later tried to recreate in his school at Santiniketan. Not surprisingly, he found his outside formal schooling to be inferior and boring and, after a brief exposure to several schools, he refused to attend school. The only degrees he ever received were honorary ones bestowed late in life.His experiences at Jorasanko provided him with a lifelong conviction concerning the importance of freedom in education. He also realized in a profound manner the importance of the arts for developing empathy and sensitivity, and the necessity for an intimate relationship with one’s cultural and natural environment. In participating in the cosmopolitan activities of the family, he came to reject narrowness in general, and in particular, any form of narrowness that separated human being from human being. He saw education as a vehicle for appreciating the richest aspects of other cultures, while maintaining one’s own cultural specificity. As he wrote:



I was brought up in an atmosphere of aspiration, aspiration for the expansion of the human spirit. We in our home sought freedom of power in our language, freedom of imagination in our literature, freedom of soul in our religious creeds and that of mind in our social environment. Such an opportunity has given me confidence in the power of education which is one with life and only which can give us real freedom, the highest that is claimed for man, his freedom of moral communion in the human world…. I try to assert in my words and works that education has its only meaning and object in freedom–freedom from ignorance about the laws of the universe, and freedom from passion and prejudice in our communication with the human world. In my institution I have attempted to create an atmosphere of naturalness in our relationship with strangers, and the spirit of hospitality which is the first virtue in men that made civilization possible.I invited thinkers and scholars from foreign lands to let our boys know how easy it is to realise our common fellowship, when we deal with those who are great, and that it is the puny who with their petty vanities set up barriers between man and man. (Rabindranath Tagore 1929: 73-74)As well as growing up in a household that was the meeting place for leading artists and intellectuals from India and the West, Rabindranath had a further experience which was unusual for someone of his upbringing. In the 1890s, he was put in charge of the family’s rural properties in East Bengal. His first experiments in adult education were carried out there as he gradually became aware of the acute material and cultural poverty that permeated the villages, as well as the great divide between the uneducated rural areas and the city elites. His experiences made him determined to do something about rural uplift, and later at Santiniketan, students and teachers were involved with literacy training and social work and the promotion of cooperative schemes. As an alternative to the existing forms of education, he started a small school at Santiniketan in 1901 that developed into a university and rural reconstruction centre, where he tried to develop an alternative model of education that stemmed from his own learning experiences.

Rabindranath composed his first poem at age eight, and by the end of his life, had written over twenty-five volumes of poetry, fifteen plays, ninety short stories, eleven novels, thirteen volumes of essays, initiated and edited various journals, prepared Bengali textbooks, kept up a correspondence involving thousands of letters, composed over two thousand songs; and – after the age of seventy – created more than two thousand pictures and sketches. He dedicated forty years of his life to his
educational institution at Santiniketan, West Bengal. Rabindranath’s school contained a children’s school as well as a university known as Visva-Bharati and a rural education Centre known as Sriniketan.

Key ideas

Rabindranath did not write a central educational treatise, and his ideas must be gleaned through his various writings and educational experiments at Santiniketan In general, he envisioned an education that was deeply rooted in one’s immediate surroundings but connected to the cultures of the wider world, predicated upon pleasurable learning and individualized to the personality of the child. He felt that a curriculum should revolve organically around nature with classes held in the open air under the trees to provide for a spontaneous appreciation of the fluidity of the plant and animal kingdoms, and seasonal changes. Children sat on hand-woven mats beneath the trees, which they were allowed to climb and run beneath between classes. Nature walks and excursions were a part of the curriculum and students were encouraged to follow the life cycles of insects, birds and plants. Class schedules were made flexible to allow for shifts in the weather or special attention to natural phenomena, and seasonal festivals were created for the children by Tagore. In an essay entitled “A Poet’s School,” he emphasizes the importance of an empathetic sense of interconnectedness with the surrounding world:

We have come to this world to accept it, not merely to know it. We may become powerful by knowledge, but we attain fullness by sympathy. The highest education is that which does not merely give us information but makes our life in harmony with all existence. But we find that this education of sympathy is not only systematically ignored in schools, but it is severely repressed. From our very childhood habits are formed and knowledge is imparted in such a manner that our life is weaned away from nature and our mind and the world are set in opposition from the beginning of our days. Thus the greatest of educations for which we came prepared is neglected, and we are made to lose our world to find a bagful of information instead. We rob the child of his earth to teach him geography, of language to teach him grammar. His hunger is for the Epic, but he is supplied with chronicles of facts and dates…Child-nature protests against such calamity with all its power of suffering, subdued at last into silence by punishment. (Rabindranath Tagore, Personality,1917: 116-17)

In Tagore’s philosophy of education, the aesthetic development of the senses was as important as the intellectual–if not more so–and music, literature, art, dance and drama were given great prominence in the daily life of the school. This was particularly so after the first decade of the school. Drawing on his home life at Jorasanko, Rabindranath tried to create an atmosphere in which the arts would become instinctive. One of the first areas to be emphasized was music. Rabindranath writes that in his adolescence, a ‘cascade of musical emotion’ gushed forth day after day at Jorasanko. ‘We felt we would try to test everything,’ he writes, ‘and no achievement seemed impossible…We wrote, we sang, we acted, we poured ourselves out on every side.’ (Rabindranath Tagore, My Reminiscences 1917: 141)In keeping with his theory of subconscious learning, Rabindranath never talked or wrote down to the students, but rather involved them with whatever he was writing or composing. The students were allowed access to the room where he read his new writings to teachers and critics, and they were encouraged to read out their own writings in special literary evenings. In teaching also he believed in presenting difficult levels of literature, which the students might not fully grasp, but which would stimulate them. The writing and publishing of periodicals had always been an important aspect of Jorasanko life, and students at Santiniketan were encouraged to create their own publications and put out several illustrated magazines. The children were encouraged to follow their ideas in painting and drawing and to draw inspiration from the many visiting artists and writers.
Most of Rabindranath’s dramas were written at Santiniketan and the students took part in both the performing and production sides. He writes how well the students were able to enter into the spirit of the dramas and perform their roles, which required subtle understanding and sympathy without special training.As Rabindranath began conceiving of Visva-Bharati as a national centre for the arts, he encouraged artists such as Nandalal Bose to take up residence at Santiniketan and to devote themselves full-time to promoting a national form of art. Without music and the fine arts, he wrote, a nation lacks its highest means of national self-expression and the people remain inarticulate. Tagore was one of the first to support and bring together different forms of Indian dance. He helped revive folk dances and introduced dance forms from other parts of India, such as Manipuri, Kathak and Kathakali. He also supported modern dance and was one of the first to recognize the talents of Uday Sankar, who was invited to perform at Santiniketan.The meeting-ground of cultures, as Rabindranath envisioned it at Visva-Bharati, should be a learning centre where conflicting interests are minimized , where individuals work together in a common pursuit of truth and realise ‘that artists in all parts of the world have created forms of beauty, scientists discovered secrets of the universe, philosophers solved the problems of existence, saints made the truth of the spiritual world organic in their own lives, not merely for some particular race to which they belonged, but for all mankind.’ (Tagore 1922:171-2)

To encourage mutuality, Rabindranath invited artists and scholars from other parts of India and the world to live together at Santiniketan on a daily basis to share their cultures with Visva-Bharati. The Constitution designated Visva-Bharati as an Indian, Eastern and Global cultural centre whose goals were:
To study the mind of Man in its realisation of different aspects of truth from diverse points of view.
To bring into more intimate relation with one another through patient study and research, the different cultures of the East on the basis of their underlying unity.
To approach the West from the standpoint of such a unity of the life and thought of Asia.
To seek to realise in a common fellowship of study the meeting of East and West and thus ultimately to strengthen the fundamental conditions of world peace through the free communication of ideas between the two hemispheres.And with such Ideals in view to provide at Santiniketan a centre of culture where research into the study of the religion, literature, history, science and art of Hindu, Buddhist, Jain, Zoroastrian, Islamic, Sikh, Christian and other civilizations may be pursued along with the culture of the West, with that simplicity of externals which is necessary for true spiritual realisation, in amity, good-fellowship and co-operation between the thinkers and scholars of both Eastern and Western countries, free from all antagonisms of race, nationality, creed or caste and in the name of the One Supreme Being who is Shantam, Shivam, Advaitam.In terms of curriculum, he advocated a different emphasis in teaching. Rather than studying national cultures for the wars won and cultural dominance imposed, he advocated a teaching system that analysed history and culture for the progress that had been made in breaking down social and religious barriers. Such an approach emphasized the innovations that had been made in integrating individuals of diverse backgrounds into a larger framework, and in devising the economic policies which emphasized social justice and narrowed the gap between rich and poor. Art would be studied for its role in furthering the aesthetic imagination and expressing universal themes.

It should be noted that Rabindranath in his own person was a living icon of the type of mutuality and creative exchange that he advocated. His vision of culture was not a static one, but one that advocated new cultural fusions, and he fought for a world where multiple voices were encouraged to interact with one another and to reconcile differences within an overriding commitment to peace and mutual interconnectedness. His generous personality and his striving to break down barriers of all sorts gives us a model for the way multiculturalism can exist within a single human personality, and the type of individual which the educational process should be aspiring towards.Tagore’s educational efforts were ground-breaking in many areas. He was one of the first in India to argue for a humane educational system that was in touch with the environment and aimed at overall development of the personality. Santiniketan became a model for vernacular instruction and the development of Bengali textbooks; as well, it offered one of the earliest coeducational programs in South Asia. The establishment of Visva-Bharati and Sriniketan led to pioneering efforts in many directions, including models for distinctively Indian higher education and mass education, as well as pan-Asian and global cultural exchange.One characteristic that sets Rabindranath’s educational theory apart is his approach to education as a poet. At Santiniketan, he stated, his goal was to create a poem ‘in a medium other than words.’ It was this poetic vision that enabled him to fashion a scheme of education which was all inclusive, and to devise a unique program for education in nature and creative self-expression in a learning climate congenial to global cultural exchange.

Conclusion

Rabindranath Tagore, by his efforts and achievements, is part of a global network of pioneering educators, such as Rousseau, Pestalozzi, Froebel, Montessori and Dewey–and in the contemporary context, Malcolm Knowles–who have striven to create non-authoritarian learning systems appropriate to their respective surroundings. In a poem that expresses Tagore’s goals for international education, he writes:



Where the mind is without fear
and the head is held high,
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been broken
up into fragments by narrow domestic
walls;
Where words come out from the
depth of truth;
Where tireless striving
stretches its arms towards
perfection;
Where the clear stream of reason
has not lost its way into the
dreary desert sand of dead habit;
Where the mind is led forward
by thee into ever-widening
thought and action–
into that heaven of freedom,
my Father,
Let my country awake.