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Title: Conceptions of teachers' knowledge : contested perspectives from government schools in India
Author: Mili
Awarding Body: King's College London
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2014
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Conceptions of what teachers need to know have a bearing on classroom practice, governance and policy. In India, the question of what teachers need to know at elementary school level plays an important but largely implicit role in efforts to improve educational quality and professionalise school teaching. This study examines the conceptions of teachers' knowledge as uderstood and used by teachers to teach geography, and as articulated in teachers' occupational context in government schools. Focusing on subject knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge, the thesis examines how these conceptions relate to the notion of teaching as an activity, within the distinctions of craft, technique and profession. Adopting a qualitative approach and employing ethnographic techniques over eight months of fieldwork in four government schools, I observed the classroom teaching of six teachers and held interviews with them to understand the meaning and conceptions they hold regarding subject knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge. To situate teachers' conceptions within their occupational context, I also undertook participant observation, studied trainings and teacher meetings, and interviewed educational officials at different levels of the education system (local, district and regional state). The findings suggest that conceptions of teachers' knowledge are generally circumscribed and limited to knowledge of the textbook they are supposed to teach. Teachers' own perspectives and practices differ depending on whether pr not they have a qualification (graduate and above) in the subject they teach- a difference that is ignored in recruitment and deployment policies, due to which most teachers teach subjects they have only studied up to grade X. Teachers. education officials, and policy documents do not generally recognise a space or need for subject-specific forms of pedagogical knowledge in grades VI, VII and VIII. The emphasis lies on teaching techniques that ostensibly originate from child pedagogy.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available