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Teacher Quality and Education Policy in India: Understanding the Relationship Between Teacher Education, Teacher Effectiveness, and Student Outcomes

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Abstract

By drawing on quantitative data and qualitative analyses of five major national education policies implemented in India over the last 15 years, this comprehensive volume explores their impact on teacher quality and perceived effectiveness, explaining how this relates to variations in student performance. Responding to a national agenda to increase the quality of the Indian teacher workforce, Teacher Quality and Education Policy in India critically questions the application of human capital theory to Indian education policy. Chapters provide in-depth and strategically structured analyses of five national policies - including the recently approved National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 -\ to see how Indian policymakers use teacher quality as a driver and measurement of education and national economic development. Ultimately, the text offers evidence-based policy recommendations to improve teacher quality in India, suggesting that while all five policies have contributed significant frameworks and recommendations for teacher quality reform, they have failed to move beyond a symbolic function. Given its rigorous methodological approach, this book will be a valuable addition to the under-researched question of education policymaking in postcolonial contexts. It will be an indispensable resource not only for scholars working on policymaking in the Indian context, but also for those working at the intersection of education, teacher development, and policymaking in developing countries.
Teacher Quality and Education
Policy in India
By drawing on quantitative data and qualitative analyses of ve major national
education documents implemented in India over the last 15 years, this com-
prehensive volume explores their impact on teacher quality and perceived
effectiveness, explaining how this relates to variations in student performance.
Responding to a national agenda to increase the quality of the Indian teacher
workforce, Teacher Quality and Education Policy in India critically questions the
application of human capital theory to Indian education policy. Chapters provide
in-depth and strategically structured analyses of ve national education docu-
ments including the recently approved National Education Policy (NEP)
2020 to see how Indian policymakers use teacher quality as a driver and mea-
surement of education and national economic development. Ultimately, the text
offers evidence-based policy recommendations to improve teacher quality in
India, suggesting that while all ve documents have contributed signicant fra-
meworks and recommendations for teacher quality reform, they have failed to
move beyond a symbolic function.
Given its rigorous methodological approach, this book will be a valuable
addition to the under-researched question of education policymaking in post-
colonial contexts. It will be an indispensable resource not only for scholars
working on policymaking in the Indian context, but also for those working at
the intersection of education, teacher development, and policymaking in
developing countries.
Preeti Kumar is an independent researcher and educational consultant based
in South Africa. She completed her PhD at Lehigh University, Pennsylvania,
USA.
Alexander W. Wiseman is Professor of Educational Leadership & Policy in
the College of Education at Texas Tech University, USA.
Routledge Research in Teacher Education
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International Narratives of Successful Teachers
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Teacher Quality and Education Policy in India
Understanding the Relationship Between Teacher Education, Teacher
Effectiveness, and Student Outcomes
Preeti Kumar and Alexander W. Wiseman
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Teacher Quality and
Education Policy in India
Understanding the Relationship Between
Teacher Education, Teacher Effectiveness,
and Student Outcomes
Preeti Kumar and
Alexander W. Wiseman
First published 2021
by Routledge
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© 2021 Preeti Kumar and Alexander W. Wiseman
The right of Preeti Kumar and Alexander W. Wiseman to be identied as
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Names: Kumar, Preeti, author. | Wiseman, Alexander W., 1968- author.
Title: Teacher quality and education policy in India : understanding the
relationship between teacher education, teacher effectiveness, and student
outcomes / Preeti Kumar and Alexander W. Wiseman.
Description: Abingdon, Oxon ; New York, NY : Routledge, 2021. |
Series: Routledge research in teacher education | Includes bibliographical
references and index.
Identiers: LCCN 2020050059 (print) | LCCN 2020050060 (ebook) |
ISBN 9780367516413 (hardback) | ISBN 9781003054726 (ebook)
Subjects: LCSH: Teachers--Training of--India. | Teacher effectiveness--
India. | Education and state--India.
Classication: LCC LB1727.I5 K86 2021 (print) | LCC LB1727.I5 (ebook) |
DDC 370.71/10954--dc23
LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2020050059
LC ebook record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2020050060
ISBN: 978-0-367-51641-3 (hbk)
ISBN: 978-0-367-75756-4 (pbk)
ISBN: 978-1-003-05472-6 (ebk)
Typeset in Galliard
by Taylor & Francis Books
This book is dedicated to Dr. Preeti Kumars late parents,
Mr. Balkrishna and Mrs. Nalini Awati,
with love, affection, and gratitude.
Contents
List of illustrations ix
Preface xi
Abbreviations xiv
1 Introduction: The Impact of National Policy on Teacher
Quality in India 1
PART I
The Indian Education System and Teacher Quality 23
2 The Preparation and Development of Teachers in India 25
3 Linking Teacher Quality to Education Policy 50
4 Traditional and Non-Traditional Approaches to Teacher Quality 74
PART II
Examining Indian Education Policies for Teacher Quality 95
5 Making Teaching Relevant to the Child: Teacher Quality
Discourse in NCF 2005 97
6 The Professionalization of Teaching: Teacher Quality Discourse
in NCFTE 2009 122
7 Restoring Credibility Through Teacher Quality: Teacher Quality
Discourse in Draft NEP 2016 and 2019 143
8 Rooting Equitable Education in Teacher Quality: Teacher Quality
Discourse in NEP 2020 172
PART III
Moving Beyond Policies for Indian Teacher Quality 191
9 The Effects of Traditional and Non-Traditional Teacher Quality
on Student Achievement in India 193
10 Evidence-Based Policy Recommendations for Improved Teacher
Quality in India 218
Index 238
viii Contents
Illustrations
Figures
2.1 Indian Education System (Cheney, Ruzzi, & Muralidharan,
2005). 27
3.1 Progression from Commission to the First National Education
Policy. 51
3.2 Teacher Quality Characteristics in Each National Education
Policy. 59
3.3 Indian Teacher Quality Policy Cycle. 62
5.1 Phases in Content Analysis. Adapted from Kuckartz (2014). 104
6.1 Curricular Areas of Initial Teacher Preparation in NCFTE 2009.
Reprinted from NCFTE (2009, p. 27). 126
9.1 Average Student Math Achievement Scores by Country, PISA
2009. 195
9.2 Average Student Science Achievement Scores by Country, PISA
2009. 196
9.3 Average Student Reading Achievement Scores by Country, PISA
2009. 197
10.1 Percentage of Sentences Relating to Traditional Teacher Quality
Indicators in the Policy Documents. 219
10.2 Percentage of Sentences Relating to Non-Traditional Teacher
Quality Indicators in the Policy Documents. 222
10.3 Timeline Depicting Shift in Teacher Quality Indicators and
National Competitiveness from 2005 to 2020. 225
Tables
5.1 Traditional Teacher Quality Indicator Keywords 103
5.2 Non-Traditional Teacher Quality Indicator Keywords 103
5.3 Pages Coded in Pilot Coding and Final Coding 105
5.4 Additional Teacher Quality Indicators from NCF 2005, NCFTE
2009, Draft NEP 2016, and Draft NEP 2019 107
5.5 Data Frequency Matrix for Traditional Teacher Quality
Indicators in NCF 2005 108
5.6 Data Frequency Matrix for Non-Traditional Teacher Quality
Indicators Including Teacher Accountability in NCF 2005 108
6.1. Pages Coded in Pilot Coding and Final Coding 127
6.2. Data Frequency Matrix for Traditional Teacher Quality
Indicators in NCFTE 2009 127
6.3 Data Frequency Matrix for Non-Traditional Teacher Quality
Indicators Including Teacher Accountability in NCFTE 2009 127
6.4 Teacher Education Before NCFTE 2009 Versus Teacher
Education Proposed by NCFTE 2009 132
7.1 Pages Coded in Pilot Coding and Final Coding 150
7.2 Data Frequency Table for Traditional Teacher Quality Indicators
in Draft NEP 2016 150
7.3 Data Frequency Table for Non-Traditional Teacher Quality
Indicators including Teacher Accountability in Draft NEP 2016 151
7.4 Pages Coded in Pilot Coding and Final Coding 156
7.5 Data Frequency Table for Traditional Teacher Quality Indicators
in Draft NEP 2019 156
7.6 Data Frequency Table for Non-Traditional Teacher Quality
Indicators including Teacher Accountability in Draft NEP 2019 157
8.1 Pages Coded in Final Coding 176
8.2 Data Frequency Table for Traditional Teacher Quality Variables 176
8.3 Data Frequency Table for Non-Traditional Teacher Quality
Variables Including Teacher Accountability 177
9.1 Descriptive Statistics for Key Teacher Quality Variables
(Himachal Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, PISA 2009) 203
9.2 Pearson Correlations Between Student Achievement Scores,
Student Level Characteristics, and Key Teacher Quality
Predictors (Himachal Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, PISA 2009) 206
9.3 Linear Regression of Student Achievement on Student
Background Characteristics and Key Teacher Quality Predictors
(Himachal Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, PISA 2009) 207
9.4 HLM Estimates of the Impact of Traditional and Non-
Traditional Teacher Quality on Student Achievement in India
(Tamil Nadu and Himachal Pradesh, PISA 2009) 210
xList of illustrations
Preface
Since the rst BRICS Ministerial Meeting in 2006, ve countries have been
associated with each other as the worlds major emerging national economies.
These ve countries include Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa (i.e.,
BRICS), and together they cover over 25% of the worlds land area, 40% of the
worlds population, and hold 15% of the global GDP (Radulescu, Panait, &
Voica, 2014). By their sheer economic and demographic dominance, they are
among the most inuential societies, political systems, and economies in the
21st century. Education is one of the key factors that has enabled BRICS coun-
tries to attain this status. In fact, BRICS countries are pouring resources into
their education systems (Yuan, 2013).
A chief educational resource in BRICS countries are teachers. In fact, teachers
are the single most important school-related factor in student achievement
(Azam & Kingdon, 2014; Darling-Hammond, 2000; Goldhaber, 2016).
BRICS countries, like India, have long recognized that the quantity of teachers
available to teach is just as important as the quality of those teachers. This is
why we focus on India, as the second most populous BRICS country, and the
national agenda to increase the quality of the Indian teacher workforce. Pol-
icymakers in India have rmly adopted the rationale of human capital theory
(e.g., Mincer, 1981), and argue that economic investment of teachershuman
capital will inexorably lead to increased teacher quality, which will lead to
increase student performance, which will lead to increased employment, pro-
ductivity, and eventually national status.
This linear policy agenda, however, is complemented by the fact that more
and more countries are focusing on teacher quality as the way to improve
student outcomes and economic productivity overall, in spite of the fact that
teacher quality has been consistently shown to neither inuence student per-
formance nor economic productivity (Ramirez et al., 2006). In fact, it could
be argued that Indias adoption of teacher quality rhetoric in its national
education policy is more symbolic than realistic. By framing teacher quality as
a national educational focus, Indias educational system aligns itself with
other national education systems, which serve some of the most productive
and highest scoring countries like Finland and Singapore.
Despite the perceived importance of teacher quality to Indias educational
and economic growth, there is limited evidence that Indias national education
policies impact either teacher quality or overall student achievement. This gap
in information is compounded by the fact that India participated in the recent
international assessment, the Program on International Student Assessment
(PISA), administered by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and
Development (OECD), and scored far below the international average on
student achievement. As a result there have been frequent criticisms of the
poor quality of Indian teachers and education in general in India. For example,
the Indian media blamed teacher quality for Indias poor performance in PISA
2009 (Lahiri, 2012). Yet, policymakers in India are still looking towards tea-
cher quality to improve education overall. Therefore, this book investigates
both the content and impact of major national education documents in India
that were either published, ratied, or implemented in the 21st century to under-
stand the inuence of these documents on teacher quality and also to identify
how teacher quality explains the variance in student performance in India.
As we were writing this book, India released the National Education Policy
2020, which updated the National Policy on Education (NPE)1986. Although
only time will tell if NEP 2020 is implementable and leads to the improvement
of teacher quality in India, the timing of NEP 2020 was perfect because it
brought our conceptual framework of the Indian education policy cycle to life.
In fact, NEP 2020 reects a bit of each of the previous national policies and
frameworks beginning with the de facto policy belief in the connection
between education and the economy, through the scripting of each Indian
national teacher quality or policy framework to fulll either national or inter-
national legitimization needs, and nally ending with the largely decoupled
implementation of the policy or framework. It is in many ways a tragic story
because the loftiest and most visionary descriptions of what education in India
could be, and the ways that teachers bring education to life, are merely words
after all. And, without accompanying action, those words may be empty.
To help policymakers and others in Indias education community make
sense of these policies, frameworks, and the evidence we present in this book
to bring them to life, we end our nal chapter with seven different policy
recommendations. Frankly, another whole book could be written about each
of those recommendations, especially the rst four, which outline the key fac-
tors necessary to not only make good policy, but sustainably and successfully
implement education policy in India and elsewhere. Our hope is that this book
provides not only a handy reference to understand the teacher quality and
educational policy platforms of early 21st century India, but that it becomes a
tool for understanding the national education policy cycle, and reasons why
policies are relatively easy to make and comparatively difcult to implement.
We hope that the journey of reading this book is enlightening as well as
informative, and as always we thank the teachers of India for their commit-
ment, their expertise, their caring, and their perseverance even when it is dif-
cult to continue moving forward.
xii Preface
Finally, as we were writing this book the coronavirus pandemic engulfed the
world in a way that was unimaginable to any of us just before it happened. The
face of public life, and education in particular changed dramatically in early and
mid-2020, and was still going through new evolutions as we completed this
book. Because the impact of coronavirus on education and on teachers, in
particular, is an evolving process, we have chosen to avoid making estimations
of what the impact on teacher quality will be and how the implementation of
Indias national education policy will be affected. No doubt, there will be
ample evidence and the accompanying empirical research to follow, which will
tell us more than we are capable of knowing in the moment. But, as authors of
this volume, we want to say one nal word of thanks and honor the teachers
who have continued to work through the pandemic, in conditions that may
not have always been safe, to bring education to the youth of India.
References
Azam, M., & Kingdon, G. (2014). Assessing teacher quality in India (Working Paper
No. 8622). London, UK: International Growth Center. Retrieved from http://
www.theigc.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Azam-King
don-2014-Working-Paper.pdf.
Darling-Hammond, L. (2000). Teacher quality and student achievement: A review of
state policy evidence. Educational Policy Analysis Archives, 8(1), 144. Retrieved
from http://www.jstor.org.
Goldhaber, D. (2016). In schools, teacher quality matters most: Today's research
reinforces Coleman's ndings. Education Next, 16(2), 5663.
Lahiri, D. (2012, October 9). The PISA shocker. The Times of India. Retrieved from
http://articles.timesondia.indiatimes.com/2012-10-09/edit-page/34324055_1_
progressive-schools-indiaenvironment.
Mincer, J. (1981). Human capital and economic growth (Working Paper No. 803).
Cambridge, MA: National Bureau of Economic Research. Retrieved from http://
www4.fe.uc.pt/mapsd/mincer_w0803.pdf.
Radulescu, I. G., Panait, M., & Voica, C. (2014). BRICS countries challenge to the
world economy new trends. Procedia Economics and Finance, 8, pp.605613.
Ramirez, F. O., Luo, X., Schofer, E., & Meyer, J. W. (2006). Student achievement and
national economic growth. American Journal of Education, 113(1), pp.129.
Yuan, S. (2013). Educational policies and economic growth in BRICS: Comparative
perspectives. Knowledge Cultures, 3(1), 3244.
Preface xiii
Abbreviations
ABL Active-Based Learning
B.A. Bachelor of Arts
BCI British Council, India
B.Ed. Bachelor of Education
B.El.Ed. Bachelor in Elementary Education
BRICS Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa
BTC Basic Training Certicate
CABE Central Advisory Board of Education
CBSE Central Board of Secondary Education
CENTA Center for Teacher Accreditation
CPD Continuous Professional Development
CTE Colleges of Teacher Education
D.Ed. Diploma in Education
D.El.Ed. Diploma in Elementary Education
DIET District Institute of Education and Training
DISE District Information System for Education
DPEP District Primary Education Program
EFA Education for All
GDP Gross Domestic Product
GoI Government of India
HCT Human Capital Theory
HLM Hierarchical Linear Model
HP Himanchal Pradesh
IASE Institute of Advanced Studies in Education
ICSE Indian Certicate of Secondary Education
ICT Information and Communications Technology
INSET In-Service Education and Training
IRB Institutional Review Board
KSQAAC Karnataka School Quality Assessment and Accreditation
Council
M.A. Master of Education
MDGs Millennium Development Goals
M.Ed. Master of Arts
MHRD Ministry of Human Resource Development
MOE Ministry of Education
NAEP National Assessment of Education Program
NAS National Achievement Survey
NCERT National Council of Educational Research and Training
NCF National Curriculum Framework
NCFTE National Curriculum Framework for Teacher Education
NCLB No Child Left Behind Act
NCTE National Council for Teacher Education
NEP National Education Policy
NEUPA National Institute of Educational Planning and Administration
NGO Non-Governmental Organisation
NPE National Policy on Education
NTT Nursery Teacher Training
NTTQV Non-Traditional Teacher Quality Variables
OECD Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
PARAKH Performance Assessment, Review, and Analysis of Knowledge
for Holistic Development
PERCCERT Percentafe of Certied Teachers
PERCQUAL Percentage of Qualied Teachers
PINDICS Performance Indicators for Elementary School
PISA Programme for International Student Assessment
PMOST Program for Mass Orientation of School Teachers
PRESET Pre-Service Teacher Education
PROBE Public Report on Basic Education
PTR PupilTeacher Ratio
RMSA Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan
RQ1 Research Question 1
RQ2 Research Question 2
RTE Right to Education
SACMEQ Southern and Eastern Africa Consortium for Monitoring
Educational Quality
SCERT State Council of Educational Research and Training
SDGs Sustainable Development Goals
SEQI School Education Quality Index
SES Student Socioeconomic Status
SOPT Special Orientation Program for Teachers
SSA Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan
STEM Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics
TEACHBEHA Teacher Behavior
TET Teacher Education Test
TIMSS Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study
TN Tamil Nadu
TTIs Teacher Training Institutions
TTQ Traditional Teacher Quality
Abbreviations xv
UEE Universal Elementary Education
UNESCO United Nations Educational, Scientic and Cultural
Organisation
USE Unied State Exam
VAM Value-Added Measure
xvi Abbreviations
1 Introduction
The Impact of National Policy on
Teacher Quality in India
Decades of research have shown that education has a major role to play in the
economic growth of countries (Lin & Yang 2009; Mathew, 1987; Sanders &
Barth, 1968). In India, the quality of education is better than most of its
neighboring countries like Pakistan and Bangladesh (Kingdon, 2007) although
lower in comparison to other Asian countries like China and Korea, for exam-
ple. As these countries have a higher level of economic growth than India, it
brought forth the question of the connection between education and eco-
nomic growth (Kotaskova et al., 2018). Research has repeatedly shown that
Indias economic strength and the social well-being of its people are closely
linked to its education sector (Goel, 1974; Mukherjee, 2009; Tilak, 2005).
Since Indias independence from Britain in 1947, education specically has
been a chief contributing factor to the nations development and also a major
concern of the Indian government. These concerns and the importance of
education in India are, not surprisingly, reected in its curriculum frameworks
and education policies. These frameworks and policies reect the fact that
Indian educational administrators, policymakers, and the general public hold
teachers primarily responsible for student learning, and, therefore, the training
and professional development of teachers are deeply embedded in Indias
national education policies.
Despite the widespread belief that improving education through the devel-
opment of teacher quality enhances learner performance (Darling-Hammond,
2000, Goldhaber & Anthony, 2003; Seebruck, 2015; Sirat, 2016) policy ana-
lysts worldwide have surprisingly little empirical data on which to base this
assumption. Even though Indias low-ranking performance on the Programme
for International Student Assessment (PISA) in 2009 has been blamed on poor
teacher quality (Chhapia, 2013; Edwards, 2017) there have been few attempts
to analyze Indias performance on PISA 2009 on the basis of teacher quality
variables. In fact, there is relatively little empirical research on the impact of
teacher quality on Indian student performance and the role that national edu-
cation policy plays in developing teacher quality in India. The relationship
between national education policy, teacher quality, and student outcomes is
underexplored more broadly as well, but India provides a remarkable test case
to examine these connections.
The focus on teachers as part of Indian national education policy is evident
in the ve key policy developments from the early 21st century. First, the
National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) in India
made a decision in 2004 to revise the existing National Curriculum Framework
(NCF) to improve teacher quality through revamping the existing teacher
education with a vision to prepare every child in the country to grow both in
Indias fast-changing world and in the global economy (NCERT, 2005).
Second, the vision of the National Curriculum Framework for Teacher Edu-
cation (NCFTE) 2009, drafted by the National Council for Teacher Education
(NCTE), was intended to transform teacher educational institutions into cen-
ters of research and practical training to improve teacher education and quality
in the country (NCTE, 2009). Third, is the Draft National Education Policy
2016 by the Government of India, which seeks to address the unnished
agenda relating to the goals and targets set in the previous national policies on
education and the current and emerging national development and education
sector-related challenges(GoI MHRD, 2016, p. 6). Next are the Drafts of the
National Education Policy 2019 and the Draft of the National Education Policy
2020. By the Government of India that reinforces the importance of quality
education in India and provides an India-centric framework for developing the
education sector in the country (GoI MHRD, 2019; GoI MHRD, 2020).
Although few in number, previous research studies have established the
relationship between teacher quality and student outcomes in India (Azam &
Kingdon, 2014; Muralidharan & Sundararaman, 2011; Singh & Sarkar,
2012). Azam and Kingdons study (2014) on Indian teacher quality in private
schools suggested that teacher quality matters a great deal(p. 4) in students
achievement, and also that within schools teacher quality varies, impacting
student scores. Muralidharan & Sundararaman (2011) showed how teacher
incentives like performance pay help increase student performance, while Singh
and Sarkar (2012) showed how teacher practices in the classroom affect Indian
student performance. In each of these studies, teacher quality or factors related
to teacher quality are shown to positively inuence Indian student achievement.
Additionally, for the rst time, two Indian states, Tamil Nadu and Himachal
Pradesh, participated in the international assessment of student performance
known as the Programme for International Student Assessment (i.e., PISA) in
2009. The embarrassing results (Chhapia, 2013), where India ranked second
to last amongst 73 countries, resulted in India opting out of the 2012 and
2015 cycles of the PISA assessment (OECD, 2010). The 2009 results revealed
that not more than 15% of Indian children (15 years of age) who partici-
pated in the testing could perform basic mathematics skills. These relatively
low performance results were considered by the Indian public and educa-
tional community to shed a harsh light on education quality in the country
(OECD, 2010).
Furthermore, an article in a leading Indian newspaper, The Times of India,
publicized the poor performance on PISA 2009 by stating that an eighth-grade
Indian student is at a similar mathematics level to a third-grade South Korean
2Introduction
student (Raghavan, 2013). Likewise, this article argued that an eighth-grade
Indian student in reading was also, on average, equivalent to a second-grader
in Shanghai. Questions among the Indian public and educational community
immediately arose following this highly public article related to the quality of
Indian teachers, and teachers were blamed for the poor performance of Indian
students as a whole (Rao, 2013).
BRICS and the Global Consensus on Teacher Quality
India is one of the original members of the BRICS group. BRICS is an acro-
nym used for the association of ve developing economies: Brazil, Russia,
India, China, and South Africa. These ve countries are distinguished from
other emerging economies based on their demographic and economic poten-
tial to rank among the most inuential countries in the 21st century. Due to
an understanding of the importance of education for further improving their
economies, BRICS countries are active in improving the quality and equity of
education in their quest for academic and economic excellence (Shaikh, 2019).
Each of the BRICS countries, however, also have country-specic concerns
about their education sectors, and what characteristics of their educational
systems might be affecting or inhibiting the quality of education nationwide.
In Brazil, for example, although education is compulsory for children until the
age of 17, most children do not continue on to higher education, thus limiting
their chances of acquiring skills for high status, high-earning jobs and labor
market productivity overall (Shaikh, 2019).
Other BRICS countries also have concerns about educational quality. For
instance, Russias education system is criticized for being more accessible to
the urban rich. School curricula in Russia is focused on preparing students to
get good grades on the centralized exams and is much less focused on
authentic student learning and development (Francesconi et al., 2019). In
China, the quality of education is geared towards standardized tests and test
taking, but Chinese students are often critiqued for not being adequately pre-
pared to face the real world outside of school (Mok, 2016). And, South Africa
is lagging behind in numeracy and literacy skills with the apartheid system still
impacting education quality (Sayed & Motala, 2019; Shaikh, 2018). Likewise,
India is facing issues of inadequate education infrastructure and poor teaching,
which critics suggest hampers not only student performance, but also access to
education in the rst place (Shaikh, 2018).
The BRICS are also confronted with disparities in the quality of schooling at
all levels, especially between rural and urban areas and in schools serving poor
households (Maiorano & Manor, 2017). BRICS educational policymakers and
educators realize that there is a dire need for the provision of quality teaching
and learning in literacy and numeracy, supported by ongoing, evidence-based,
teacher preparation and professional development (Vos & de Beer, 2018). In
fact, this is a concern that is not only prevalent in BRICS countries. There is
increasingly global concern and recognition that quality teachers are pivotal to
Introduction 3
quality education (Azam & Kingdon, 2014; Darling-Hammond, 2000;
Hanushek & Rivkin, 2003). Researchers worldwide have repeatedly found that
teacher quality impacts student performance (Abe, 2014; Fong-Yee & Normore,
2006; Goldhaber & Anthony, 2003; UNESCO, 2006). In fact, Goldhaber
(2016) stated that teachers are the single most important school-related factor in
student achievement and, thus, it is not surprising that the idea of teachers
having the foremost impact on childrens learning has moved to the forefront of
public opinion and national policy, where it remains.
Commenting on teachers occupying a central role in schools as well as in a
nations education policy, Hanushek and Rivkin (2006, p. 1053) stated, there
is a prima facie case for the concentration on teachers, because they are the
largest single budgetary element in schools. In addition, the Organization for
Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) set forth the assertion
that among the school variables that are open to policy inuence, teacher
quality is the single most inuential factor in determining student achieve-
ment(2005, p. 2). Therefore, the role of teachers in student learning is given
dominant status in public and policy-related discussions about education and
its impact on social, political, and economic development.
The Varying Standards for Teacher Quality
Given the global consensus on the specic importance of teacher quality in
inuencing the overall quality of education in every national educational
system, it is surprising that there is no standarddenition or measurement of
teacher quality (Goe & Stickler, 2008; Mastekaasa, 2011). In fact, attempts to
measure or estimate levels of teacher quality often lead to further questions
that are neither specically nor consistently answered. Thus, Goe and Stickler
(2008, p. 1) comment:
While many studies attest that some teachers contribute more to their
studentsacademic growth than other teachers, research has not been
very successful at identifying the specic teacher qualications, char-
acteristics, and practices that are more likely to improve student learning.
Unfortunately, this is just the information that education policymakers
need the most.
In fact, national educational systems, independent researchers, professional
associations, and educators themselves around the world conceptualize and
measure teacher quality in a variety of ways. Often, teacher certication and
professional development are used as a component to dene teacher quality.
Wiseman and Al-bakr (2013) presented teacher licensing, or certication, as a
ubiquitous component of national education systems and pre-service teacher
education around the worldand that the education systems in the Arabian
Gulf states are actively seeking to measure teacher quality through teacher
certication(p. 289). Likewise, in the United States, teacher qualications are
4Introduction
frequently used to measure teacher quality (Azam & Kingdon, 2014). There-
fore, the importance of highly qualied teachers is reected in the No Child
Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001. It is based on the premise that teacher
excellence is critical in improving student performance. Additionally, the
NCLB Act believes that years of teaching experience, teacher certication, and
teacherscourse completion are all indicators of high-quality teachers (Rice,
2003). Wiseman and Al-bakr (2013) also cite the ubiquity of quickly devel-
oping education systems in nations around the world measuring teacher quality
on the basis of standardized student achievement test scores (pp. 289, 291).
But this measure of teacher quality is also problematic because it directly
measures studentsoutcomes, not teachers.
In respect to BRICS, a report by the OECD (2015) reveals that Brazil has
taken many steps since the mid-1990s to improve teacher quality. Specically,
the 1996 Law on National Educational Guidelines and Framework mandated
that all teachers attain a university qualication with in-service training and an
increased number of practice teaching days (OECD, 2015). In Russia, teacher
quality is determined by scores students achieve after completion of the
eleventh grade, the nal year of high school. Every student in the country takes
the Unied State Exam (USE), which functions as a college entrance exam-
ination. The exam is considered high-stakes because of the massive number of
students in Russia who participate and the key function it serves as a gateway
to college entrance. Thus, teacher quality is determined by the scores students
receive on the exam (Zakharov et al., 2015).
In China, Robinson (2008), who researched the use of distance education
and ICT in rural China to conduct ongoing professional development with
teachers, stated that teacher quality is tied to instructors being able advance
their skills and knowledge through ongoing professional development. He said
that this is what led teachers to become higher quality teachers who can better
contribute to their studentsachievement. And, in South Africa, where stu-
dents score low in mathematics and language tests even when compared to
other African countries, there is widespread agreement that the main reason for
low performance in the country is the quality of education. Yet, there is little
empirical data to enable policymakers to identify the root causes of low-quality
education or marshal resources to improve it (Pournara et al., 2015; Sorto &
Sapire, 2011).
In India, a dominant focus is on the development of teacher quality as a key
approach to improving overall educational quality. Although there is research
on assessing teacher quality in India (Azam & Kingdon, 2014; Muralidharan
& Sundararaman, 2011; Nanda, 2017), there is limited study on the clarity of
the denition of teacher quality in the policies in India. Unfortunately, there is
no concept of a highly qualied teacher, though in 2015 the Indian Minister
of State for Human Resource Development extended the duration for teacher
education in a bid to improve teacher quality (Nanda, 2017). Conducting a
study in private schools in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, Azam and Kingdon
(2014) proposed using the value-added measures (i.e., VAM) approach to
Introduction 5
assess teacher quality in India. This outcome-based approach suggests that
quality teachers raise their studentsacademic growth from one year to the
next year. The VAM approach to measuring teacher quality has been widely
used in the United States, as well (Azam & Kingdon, 2014).
One can see that while measuring or dening teacher quality, there is global
overemphasis on indicators of teacher qualication, teacher certication, and
professional development, which may be deemed traditionalmeasures of
teacher quality (Goe & Stickler, 2008). Wiseman and Al-bakr (2013) offer
their critique of this traditionalmodel of dening and measuring teacher
qualitybystating,the fact is that some teachers facilitate student learning
better than others regardless of their educational preparation and expertise in the
subject matter, as measured by their certication(p. 291). They acknowledge
that measuring teacher quality is, indeed, elusive(Wiseman & Al-bakr, 2013,
p. 289), and they afrm that there are other factors that are related to students
learning in the classroom. But, other non-traditionalteacher quality factors,
which impact student outcomes, are largely ignored both in the research and by
policymakers who inuence practice in schools and classrooms. These traditional
and non-traditional teacher quality factors are a key focus in this investigation of
teacher quality and national education policy in India.
Teachers as the Fulcrum of Educational Improvement in India
India is a prime example of unity in diversitywith its multiple states, lan-
guages, religions, and cultures. While a rich cultural heritage is an important
characteristic of the country, social hierarchies due to the caste system, the
widening gap between the rich and poor, and the gap between the educated
eliteand the uneducated are also integral parts of Indian society. The clas-
sication of education, which distinguishes between privateand govern-
mentschools, is the result of the class inequalities, where only the privileged
can afford to attend a good educationsystem provided by private schools
(Singh & Sarkar, 2012). Apart from this private/government dichotomization
affecting Indian studentsaccess to education, it also affects teacher quality
because teachers in private schools may not be qualied or certied by teacher
education institutes under the government body, NCERT (Singh & Sarkar,
2012).
India has over 28 states with as many as 22 regional languages and dialects
including the ofcial language, Hindi, which was declared following indepen-
dence. The diversity of languages and multilingualism in India is a unique
characteristic of the country and also a cause of concern in the education sector
(Huisman et al., 2010). Although Hindi is the ofcial language, it is not a
native language for many, and hence there is no one medium of instruction for
teachers throughout India. Indian teachers, apart from catering to the diverse
academic needs of their students, have the additional task of accounting for
dialectic nuances that inuence student learning (Gelda et al., 2013). The
three-language formula adopted by the Indian education sector in 1957 is now
6Introduction
being replaced by bilingualism with English and Hindi or English and a regional
language as a medium of instruction.
In the three-language formula, during the rst ve years of schooling, a
regional language is used as the rst teaching language. During school years six
to eight, a second language is taught as a school subject: Hindi in non-Hindi
areas and another Indian language in the Hindi areas. From the third year
onwards, English is taught as a school subject (Huisman et al., 2010). Now
English is slowly becoming the dominant language of instruction in most parts
of the country (Huisman et al., 2010), but unfortunately the historical legacy
of the English language is affecting the quality of education in the country,
especially in the rural areas as natives are not familiar with the English language.
And, the effect of language on educational quality is being misinterpreted as a
problem of teacher quality because teachers must include language prociency as
one of their areas of preparation.
Furthermore, the National Curriculum Framework (NCF 2005) states
that since the language used in mathematics textbooks is different from the
language students use in their day-to-day living, it creates anxiety and fear
in students. Therefore, it was recommended that the mathematics curricu-
lum contain language that students use in their daily lives (NCERT, 2005).
Indian policymakers, however, also realized the importance of English as a
necessary means for international communication. Therefore, teaching in
English could not be completely shut down either. These are but a few exam-
ples of how the countrys diversity poses many quality challenges, especially to
teachers.
Introduction to the Indian Education System
India is home to over a billion people (Cassen, 2016). In recognition of the
challenge this population size poses, education has been given a valuable place
in Indian society since independence from Britain and is considered a means to
eliminate Indias vicious cycle of poverty, thereby raising the countrys eco-
nomic productivity and international standing. In fact, the father of the Indian
nation, Mahatma Gandhi, stressed the importance of education for both males
and females as a source of developing a balanced human personality (Rani,
2010). But, the size of Indias population, and student population in parti-
cular, adds to the complexity of the system. For this reason, it has been sug-
gested that Indias national educational system must maintain standards and
uniformity, while giving scope for its diverse culture and heritage to grow and
ourish across the length and breadth of the country(British Council, India
[BCI], 2014, p. 3). To do so, the school system in India follows the levels of
pre-primary, upper primary/middle, secondary, and higher secondary educa-
tion. The Ministry of Human Resource Development governs the overall
education system in the country alongside a Central Advisory Board on
Education, with each state having its own Education Ministry (Anderson &
Lightfoot, 2019).
Introduction 7
Classication by Ownership
As already mentioned, schools in India are owned either by the government
(central, state, or local government bodies) or private entities (trusts, individuals,
or societies). They are classied into three categories: (1) government schools
run by state education departments where no fees are charged; (2) private aided
schools where schools are managed by private bodies but funds (partially or
fully) are received from the government; and (3) private schools unaided and
not funded by the government, who persist by charging fees. The private unai-
ded schools have their own fee structure based on the location and services
provided (Shreekrishna & Gadkar, 2018; Singh & Sarkar, 2012).
Since the private unaided schools are not homogenous in the country, some
schools charge low fees while others cater to rich families and, therefore, have a
high fee structure. The interesting point to note here, according to Singh and
Sarkar (2012), is that the three school categories also fall under the recognized
and unrecognized categories. The schools recognized or approved by the state
government must fulll certain requirements under the state government reg-
ulations regarding teacherpupil ratios, qualications, and so forth. The unrec-
ognized schools are not afliated to any board but still continue to run in the
country, though the District Information System for Education (DISE) does not
have data pertaining to such an unrecognized education sector.
Classication by Educational Board Afliations
Education in India is under the control of the National Council of Educational
Research and Training (NCERT). It is an apex organization selected by the
government of India to maintain quality in education. NCERT provides sup-
port to schools and ensures enforcement of national education policies. It also
supports and advises the Ministry of Human Resource Development in main-
taining the quality of school education and teacher education in India (Nirav,
2012; Shreekrishna & Gadkar, 2018).
Acknowledging the importance of improving the teacher quality, the gov-
ernment also set up a permanent body for the selection of teachers known as
the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE). It conducts training and
the selection of teachers and provides certicates and degrees for teachers, known
as a Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.) or Shastri education, which are essential for
teachers seeking employment in schools (Nirav, 2012). However, the NCTE
does not prevent private and unrecognized institutions from also providing train-
ing and certications to teachers, and private schools readily employ such teachers
(Nirav, 2012).
Although the curriculum in all secondary schools in India is monitored and
comes under one of the two main boards, which are the Central Board of
Secondary Education (CBSE) and the Indian Certicate of Secondary Education
(ICSE), the recruitment of teachers in private schools is solely at the schools
discretion. Therefore, the quality of teachers in both private and public schools
8Introduction
in India differs substantially. According to a report in The Times of India,many
teachers in private schools in the country do not have the requisite teaching
degree, and a few of them have not even completed their high school education
(Raghavan, 2013).
Thus, the Indian education system, which is vast and continuously changing,
faces many challenges (BCI, 2014). Evidence shows that the number of pri-
vate schools in India has been increasing since the 1990s due to a rising
demand for education and a lack of adequate facilities in the government
schools (Huisman, Rani, & Smits, 2010). However, since the private schools
are not regulated by NCERT, the quality of teachers is questionable. The
Public Report on Basic Education (PROBE, 1999, p. 56) in India found the
following:
Many teachers in our country have not had the benet of a good pre-ser-
vice training for their job. For most candidates who wish to be teachers,
there is an acute dearth of good teacher-training facilities and the quality
of training programs offered in the country is varied. Another problem is
the content of the training course. For one thing, the content of the pre-
service courses has not kept pace with changes in the eld. Secondly, it is
assumed that the higher a teachers formal qualications, the more suitable
he or she is for the job. Thus, a B.A. (Bachelor of Arts) would be preferred
over a class-12 candidate with a BTC (Basic Training Certicate). Again, if
there was a tussle between a B.A., B.Ed. and an M.A. (Master of Arts),
then the latter would automatically be taken. Ironically, neither the B.A.
nor the M.A. has any special relevance to young children, and the B.Ed. is
really a pre-service training for secondary school teaching.
Globally, evidence shows that teacher education worldwide follows a similar
pattern of content and pedagogical knowledge (Wiseman & Al-bakr, 2013)
although the teacher training method and duration may vary from country to
country from a one-year to a four-year program (Ingersoll, 2007), In India,
the National Council of Teacher Education (NCTE), a statutory body of the
Central Government, is responsible for the development of teacher education
in the country. According to the Ministry of Human Resource Development
report (2015), the NCTE lays down norms and standards for teacher training,
certication, minimum qualications, course content and duration. It grants
recognition to institutions who conduct teacher training and also monitors the
standards. Additionally, there are government owned Teacher Training Insti-
tutions (TTIs) that provide in-service training to school teachers.
The National Curriculum Framework (NCF) from 2005 emphasized that a
new teacher education program should be formulated for pre-primary, pri-
mary, secondary, higher secondary, and graduate levels, and it should be
provided through a recognized university. Also, the teacher education pro-
gram should be a ve-year program after the 10 + 2 level of school education
followed by the country. The program should contain core competencies that
Introduction 9
teachers at all levels from pre-primary to graduate levels will follow before
their choice of specialization. NCF 2005 also stated that the teacher program
should not be created in isolation but should be connected to the school
curriculum, considering the regional context of the schools location. Finally,
the NCF 2005 position paper highlighted that the teacher program should
have a provision for linking the pre- and post-training of teachers through the
District Institute of Education and Training (DIET) within university-based
institutions (NCERT, 2005).
Evidence suggests, however, that in practice there is little focus on the
quality of teachers. The Teachers Curriculum framed by NCTE in 2006 (Naik,
2008) shows the lack of professional development for teachers in India, and
especially little concern for preparing Indian teachers for constantly demanding
and uid classroom situations. The other issue that the Indian education
system is facing is a high pupilteacher ratio (PTR) due to an acute shortage of
teachers and the PTR remains a bone of contentionin the education system
of the country (Vidyadharan, 2020). Therefore, to enhance teacher quality,
Indias national education policymakers and educators will likely be forced to
eventually examine the impact of teacher absenteeism and take appropriate
measures. Kohli (2015) reports that in a few government schools in New
Delhi, students are taught in corridors due to lack of space, and that there are
also teachers who are absent for 40% of the working days. In fact, teacher
absenteeism is seen as the most crucial issue plaguing the government school
system(Kundu, 2019, p. 35). In a recent study, it was observed that there
was a shortage of more than ve lakh teachers in elementary schools in the
states of Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, and
Maharashtra and 14% of the government secondary schools have no more than
a total of six teachers (Kundu, 2019). In short, teacher-quality-related policy
and practice are partners in the development of Indias education system and in
the inuence on Indian student outcomes.
Which Came First? National Education Policy or Teacher Quality?
Despite the importance of teacher quality in Indias educational and eco-
nomic growth, there is limited research on the inuence that national poli-
cies have on Indias teacher quality and Indian student performance. Rather,
there have been repeated criticisms of the poor quality of Indian teachers and
the low education quality overall in India. Policymakers in India assume that
teacher quality is a way to improve the overall education quality in the
country and this is reected in the various national policies they developed in
the early 21st century. Five national education documents, as discussed ear-
lier, with explicit teacher quality considerations are the National Curriculum
Framework (NCF) 2005, the National Curriculum Framework for Teacher
Education (NCFTE) 2009, the Draft National Education Policy (NEP)
2016, the Draft National Education Policy (NEP) 2019, and the National
Education Policy (NEP) 2020.
10 Introduction
Despite Indias poor student performance compared to international bench-
marks, there has been limited study to analyze Indias performance on PISA,
specically. Perhaps the nature of international comparison is to only compare
when there is something positive to show (Gayowsky, 2019; Sahin, 2008;
Schoellman, 2009) but regardless of the reason little research has examined
Indias PISA data. And, no research has looked specically at the role or inu-
ence that teacher quality may have had on overall Indian education quality or
student performance, in particular. Rather, there have been public criticisms of
the poor quality of Indian teachers and the low education quality in India. And,
as already mentioned, India purposefully opted out of the 2012 and the 2015
PISA testing cycles in order to not further embarrassitself (Venkatachalam,
2017). However, India will again participate in internationally comparative
assessments of education (Banchariya, 2019; Venkatachalam, 2017).
The Executive Committee of NCERT in India decided in 2004 to revise the
existing (2000) National Curriculum Framework to create a balanced national
education system. The decision came in light of the repeated concerns over the
quality of learning and the unnecessary academic pressure on school-going
children (Pal, 1993). The low quality of education was reectedinthelow
scores in literacy and numeracy assessment reported by the Trends in Inter-
national Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) 2007 results. Prior to the
report, there were several recommendations made over the past two decades
by several committees, including the Ishwarbhai Patel Review Committee
(1977) and the NCERT Working Group (1984), to improve the quality of
learning for young children in India. The curriculum development agencies
implemented the recommendations more specically, however, when the new
curriculum was introduced by the National Policy on Education (NPE) in
1986 (Pal, 1993). Therefore, the NPE (1986) proposed a new curriculum
framework to evolve a better quality and child-centered national system of
education, which was called the National Curriculum Framework (i.e., NCF),
in 2005.
NCERT is responsible for reviewing and formulating the curriculum at reg-
ular intervals, considering the fact that a national curriculum cannot be a
static document but should be revised regularly to reect the dynamism and
diversity of society, reected in schools (NCERT, 2010). Therefore, the NCF
2005 is a result of revisions made to NCF 1975, 1988, and 2000 by the
NCERT in consultation with the National Steering Committee, 21 focus
groups, and the position papers prepared by these groups (Yadav, 2013). The
NCF 2005 aimed to prepare every child in the country to grow in Indias
fast-changing position in the world and global economy (NCERT, 2005),
and for this, it focused on remodeling teacher education to make learning
more relevant for children growing up into a globaleconomy. The NCF
2005 model worked on the principle that if the method of teaching is rele-
vant to the child, it will positively impact student learning.
NCFTE 2009 developed by the NCTE gave a systematic and comprehen-
sive framework for teacher education. The NCFTE 2009 viewed teaching as a
Introduction 11
profession that required a well-planned and relevant education program and
training like any other profession. NCFTEs vision was to make the teacher
educational institutions into centers of research and practical training to
improve teacher education and quality in the country (NCTE, 2010).
Next, the addition to Indias teacher-quality-related education documents in
the early 21st century was Draft NEP 2016 by the Government of India. It is
also called Some Inputs For Draft National Educational Policy 2016though
for the book it will be referred to as Draft NEP 2016. The main goal of Draft
NEP 2016 was on improving the quality of education and restoring its credibility.
It sought to create conditions to improve the quality of teaching, learning, and
assessment and to promote transparency in the management of education (GoI
MHRD, 2016, p. 14). Reinforcing the importance of quality education in India,
NEP 2016 provided a framework for developing the education sector in the
country including teacher quality.
The Draft NEP 2019 aims to universalize pre-primary education by 2025
and to provide literacy to all by 2025 (GoI MHRD, 2019). To strengthen
teacher quality, the Draft policy plans to transform the teacher education
system by including a four-year integrated stage with subject-specicpro-
grams that will be offered in selected multidisciplinary institutions.
The latest addition to the education documents in India is the NEP 2020 by
the Government of India which aims to make commendable changes in the
education system. Specically in respect to teachers, the NEP 2020 acknowl-
edges the reality of unmotivated and dis-spirited Indian teacher and proposes
to completely overhaul the teaching profession to create a robust merit-based
structure of tenure, salary, and promotion, that incentivizes and recognizes
outstanding teachers (GoI MHRD, 2020).
The national documents examined in the chapters that follow all address the
question of teacher quality but do so in different ways. To examine the differences
in Indian national education policies related to teacher quality, we categorize
teacher quality indicators into either traditional or non-traditional factors. As
mentioned before, there has been limited study in India on teacher quality with
reference to PISA scores. Therefore, the context in this study is India with specic
reference to the two states of Tamil Nadu and Himachal Pradesh, since these are
the two Indian states that participated in PISA 2009. The categories and sub-
categories of traditional teacher quality are teacher qualications, teacher certi-
cation, professional development, and supervision. Non-traditional teacher quality
categories and sub-categories include teacher salary/performance pay, teacher
absenteeism, teachers qualied in the subject they teach, and teacher attitude.
Overview of the Book
This book is organized into three parts to best reect the situation of teacher
quality and national education documents including policies in India in rela-
tion to student outcomes. Part I, titled The Indian Education System and
Teacher Quality, examines the Indian education system, teacher education
12 Introduction
in India, and internationally validated approaches to measuring teacher quality.
Chapters focus on introducing India, operationalizing teacher quality, an exten-
sive and comparative review of empirical research on teacher quality, and theo-
retical frameworks relevant to national education impacts in developing country
contexts. Part I includes Chapters 2, 3, and 4, which provide the framework for
this book through the historical and policy background of teacher quality in
India, create a conceptual framework to explain the Indian national education
policy cycle, and identify the key conceptual and empirical distinctions between
traditional and non-traditional approaches to teacher quality in India.
Chapter 2 on The Preparation and Development of Teachers in India
discusses the history and practice of teacher education in India in order to
provide a comprehensive foundational understanding of how teachers are
educated and trained in India. Specically, this chapter examines the quality
and quantity of teacher preparation and training programs in India both for
pre-service as well as in-service teachers. The typical preparation and profes-
sional development experience of teachers at the primary and secondary levels
are discussed, and the characteristics of the Indian teacher workforce on
average are also summarized and critiqued.
Chapter 2 further examines the education system, including teacher quality
and preparation, of two states in comparison to the rest of India. These two
states are Tamil Nadu and Himachal Pradesh. Situated in the southern part of
India, the state of Tamil Nadu (TN) is geographically the 11th largest state in
the country, occupying 4% of the national area (Gupta, 2012). Although a
poor state, TN is one of the better offstates in the country in terms of lit-
eracy and student enrollment rates (Gupta, 2012, p. 1). Himachal Pradesh
(HP) is a northern state in India and is largely Hindu. It is one of the least
urban states in India. HP made a special effort to expand education and has
risen in both educational infrastructure and enrollment since the late 20th
century. Since every state in India is unique, teacher quality of the selected
states of Kerala, Rajasthan, Assam, Karnataka, Maharashtra, and the union
territory Delhi is also briey examined.
Finally, the teacher quality crisisin India is explained. Specically, the
reaction from policy and media to national education performance in India is
presented as context for the teacher quality discussion.
Chapter 3 maps teacher quality to education policy in India and then back-
ward maps it again from education policy to teacher quality. In doing so, there
are two main sections in this chapter. The rst addresses the ways that national
education policy in India have been formed in relation to teachers, teacher
preparation and training, and teacher quality, broadly speaking. Some ques-
tions addressed in this rst section are:
What are some factors that are considered in formulating education policy?
How do global developments impact national education policies?
Why and by whom are education policies formulated?
Why do some education policies fail to show results?
Introduction 13
How has Indian education policy been inuenced by international com-
parisons differently than by internal variation/comparisons of education?
The second section in Chapter 3 examines the connections between educa-
tional policy agendas and teacher quality. Specically, questions addressed in
this section include:
What are the ways teacher quality manifests itself in countries through
teacher qualication, pre-service teacher education, professional develop-
ment, etc.?
What are the policy perspectives on teacher quality in India?
What are the key policies and characteristics of those policies that are
intended to inuence teacher quality and are empirically measured or
translated into teacher quality?
In discussing these questions, Chapter 3 examines the policy Indian edu-
cational policy cycle. This cycle is comprised of three phases facilitated by
three processes. The phases are (1) making a de facto educationeconomy
link, (2) developing the Indian education policies, and (3) implementation of
teacher quality reforms. But, these phases are also accompanied and facili-
tated by three process, which include (1) legitimacy-seeking, (2) scripting
and modeling, and (3) decoupling. Legitimacy-seeking facilitates the de facto
educationeconomy link through references to and alignment with international
declarations about education, universal educational standards, global testing
and accountability, and the BRICS economic development. Indian national
education policies are modeled on the policies and reforms legitimized through
the de facto educationeconomy-link phase, and then the committees who
script these national education policies do so through the techniques of
delegitimization and legitimization, the intensity of legitimization, and how
legitimization of national education policies is contextualized. Finally, decou-
pling characterizes the implementation of teacher quality reforms in India. In
particular, a lack of infrastructure, capacity, and sustainability ensure that
teacher quality reforms in India have experienced failed implementation in
the 21st century.
Chapter 4 examines Traditional and Non-Traditional Approaches to Teacher
Quality. Teacher quality has been traditionally measured through indirect
outcomes like student achievement and other student outcomes. Therefore,
this chapter examines more closely what previously used measures of teacher
quality have been and how closely connected they are to the actual behavior,
activity, and qualications of teachers. In answering the question, What is
teacher quality from a traditional perspective and non-traditional perspective?,
this chapter then examines teacher quality variables that are considered tradi-
tionaland non-traditionalby past research and have been used by Indian
educators and policymakers to dene teacher quality. We then further compare
and contrast the uses of traditionaland non-traditionalteacher quality
14 Introduction
measures in policy and practice globally compared to in India. The various
traditionaland non-traditionalmeasures of teacher quality are oper-
ationalized in the Indian context and their perceived association or non-
association with studentsoutcomes is discussed in light of previously reported
empirical studies.
Part II, titled Examining Indian Education Policies for Teacher Quality,
analyzes the ve Indian national education documents issued in the 21st cen-
tury in relation to teacher quality and the cycle of Indian national education
policymaking. Chapters focus on data related to Indian teacher quality and
connections between each national education documents and teacher quality
in India. In particular, the contrast between traditional and non-traditional
teacher quality references in the policies and the degree of alignment with
globally legitimized, national contextualized, and the local implementation of
these policies is discussed.
In India, the importance of teachers is recognized as inuencing student
learning and is embedded in national education policies. The national documents
examined in the following chapters suggest different approaches to improving
teacher quality. An in-depth analysis of the major education documents in India
since the beginning of the 21st century highlights which teacher quality char-
acteristics whether traditional or non-traditional are the focus of Indian pol-
icymakers and educators. Part II provides in-depth and strategically structured
analyses of the ve national documents, including the National Curriculum
Framework (NCF) 2005, the National Curriculum Framework for Teacher
Education (NCFTE) 2009, the Draft National Education Policy (NEP) 2016,
the Draft National Education Policy (NEP) 2019, and the National Education
Policy (NEP) 2020 to see how Indian policymakers both use teacher quality as
a cause and effect of education and national economic development.
Chapter 5 explains the teacher quality discourse presented in the National
Curriculum Framework (NCF) 2005, and how it reorients the discussion to make
teaching relevant to the child. NCF 2005 is the latest iteration of a legacy of
revisions made to NCF 1975, 1988, and 2000 by the National Council of Edu-
cational Research and Training (NCERT) in consultation with the National
Steering Committee and 21 focus groups (Yadav, 2013). The NCF 2005sofcial
aim is to prepare every child in the country to ourish in Indias fast-changing
global status (NCERT, 2005), and for this, it focuses on remodeling teacher
education to make learning more relevant for to the global economy. NCF
2005s implicit theory of action is that if the method of teaching is relevant to the
student, it will positively impact student learning and outcomes. Therefore, tea-
cher quality and its development are critical to Indian education and a major focus
of NCF 2005. The remainder of this chapter analyses NCF 2005 in respect to
teacher quality both from traditional and non-traditional approaches and exam-
ines where NCF 2005 ts within the overall conceptual framework presented in
Chapter 3 related to the policymaking and implementing process in India.
Chapter 6 focuses on the National Curriculum Framework for Teacher
Education (NCFTE) 2009 developed by the National Council for Teacher
Introduction 15
Education (NCTE), which gives a systematic and comprehensive framework
for teacher education. And, in particular, NCFTE 2009 focuses on the pro-
fessionalization of teaching. The NCFTE 2009 views teaching as a profession
that requires a well-planned and relevant education program and training like
any other profession. NCFTEs vision is to make teacher educational institu-
tions into centers of research and practical training to enhance the quality of
education in India through improved teacher quality (NCTE, 2010). The
remainder of this chapter analyses how NCFTE 2009 inuences or frames
teacher quality, especially in light of professionalization of the profession and
preparation to enter the profession of teaching, and examines where NCFTE
2009 ts within the overall conceptual framework presented in Chapter 3.
The next additions to the Indian education policies are the Drafts of National
Education Policy (NEP) 2016 and 2019 developed by the Government of
India. Chapter 7 explains how NEP 2016 and NEP 2019 aim to improve the
quality of education and restore its credibility. The Draft of NEP 2016 seeks
to create conditions to improve the quality of teaching, learning, and assess-
ment and to promote transparency in the management of education (GoI
MHRD, 2016, p. 14). Reinforcing the importance of quality education in
India, NEP 2019 provides an India-centric framework for developing the
education sector in the country including teacher quality. Content analysis of
the Draft documents show discourse on teacher quality in respect to tradi-
tional and non-traditional teacher quality variables in each Draft policy. And,
nally discussion on how Draft of 2016 and Draft of 2019 twithinthe
overall conceptual framework presented in Chapter 3 is presented.
Chapter 8 briey introduces the latest policy the National Education
Policy 2020 that replaces the earlier National Policy on Education (NPE
1986). The new policy revamps the Indian education system both at school
level and higher education level. It brings massive changes in school education
that includes change in curriculum, language, assessment, online education,
etc. It acknowledges the importance of teachers and proposes to completely
overhaul the teaching profession. Content analysis of the document reveals
teacher quality discourse in relation to the chosen teacher quality variables.
The chapter concludes with examining how the new policy ts within the
conceptual framework presented in Chapter 3.
Part III, titled, Moving Beyond Policies for Indian Teacher Quality,
examines the teacher quality evidence using representative data from two
Indian states and is followed by a summary chapter providing evidence-based
policy recommendations to improve teacher quality in India. The title of this
part suggests that in the 21st century, all of Indias national education policies,
and the policy reforms specically targeting teacher development, have failed in
implementation. They have been policies only. It is time for India to move
beyond the policies into the implementation phase in order to genuinely
inuence teacher quality nationwide. The point is that all ve of the national
education documents have made meaningful policy frameworks and recommen-
dations for teacher quality reform, some better than others, but all signicant
16 Introduction
and relevant to the improvement of teacher quality and education overall in
India. The key is to not stop at the symbolic function of policy, which has been
the norm so far, and to continue to the practical and strategic implementation
of teacher quality reform.
Chapter 9 is a turning point in the book, which comparatively examines
Indias teacher quality in relation to international standards using internationally
comparative data to do so. The Programme for International Student
Assessment (PISA) is an international survey, which aims to evaluate educa-
tion systems globally by testing the skills and knowledge of 15-year-old stu-
dents. PISA assesses how well students can apply what they learn in school to
real-life situations. PISA tests are administered every three years to 15-year-
olds in 65 countries, regardless of grade, achievement, and socio-economic
status. India participated only once in 2009 and average Indian student per-
formance was ranked second to last from the bottom. Unfortunately, in
India, the PISA 2009 comparative data is now used to criticize the quality of
education and to blame teachers for the poor performance of students
(Chhapia, 2013). This chapter analyses teacher quality from both tradi-
tionaland non-traditionalperspectives using PISA 2009 data in relation
to student outcomes for India. Indias teacher quality is compared empirically
with other peer and target comparison countries as well.
Chapter 10 provides evidence-based recommendations for national educa-
tion policy development and implementation related to teacher quality in
India. Analyses of the ve Indian national documents and PISA 2009 data pro-
vides relevant information not only about how these documents frame teacher
quality in India, but also which characteristics of teacher quality have the
strongest relationship to student outcomes and perceived national economic
development. Given these analyses in the preceding chapters several policy
recommendations and the evidence for each are presented in this chapter. The
information may assist Indian policymakers in adjusting the education resour-
ces to relevant teacher quality variables that increase student performance in
the country. This chapter also provides a template for applying data-based
decision-making to education policymaking and practice in India and other
national education systems experiencing similar challenges, especially among
BRICS countries.
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22 Introduction
Notes
Chapter 2
1Twenty-two languages have gained constitutional recognition in India.
2The three-language formula was adopted in 1957. In the rst ve years of schooling,
a regional language is used as the rst teaching language. During school years six to
eight, a second language is taught as a school subject: Hindi in non-Hindi areas and
another Indian language in the Hindi areas. From the third year onwards, English is
taught as a school subject (Huisman et al., 2010).
3Union territories are special administrative sectors in India, which has eight UTs,
Delhi being one of them.
4In ancient India 600 BCE, Brahmins were considered the highest class in India
(Saxena, 2007).
5West Bengal state is situated in the eastern part of India.
6Madras is now called Chennai and is the capital city of the state of Tamil Nadu.
7The period between 1500500 BCE was when the Vedas or the oldest scriptures of
the Hindu religion were composed.
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