An International Seminar on ‘Quality Research in Teacher Education’ was organized at Partap College of Education, Ludhiana by International Professional Development Association (IPDA), India and Internal Quality Assurance Cell (IQAC), Partap College of Education, under the patronage of International Professional Development Association, UK. Around three hundred delegates from various states of India viz., Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan attended the seminar. Dr. Balwant Singh, Principal of the college and convener of the seminar in his welcome address made the delegates aware as to why a need was felt for a seminar on “Quality Research in Teacher Education”. He reiterated that the research conducted in the field of education is not connected with real problems of teacher education. Therefore, teachers and teacher educators need to engage with quality research, in the sense of keeping up to date with the latest developments in their academic subject. The seminar was a direction in this way to get acquainted with latest issues of educational research in national as well as international context.
Prof. Ken Jones, Educational Consultant & Managing Editor, Professional Development in Education Journal, in his keynote address talked at length about issues concerning quality research in Teacher Education. He emphasized that quality research in Teacher Education must be purposeful, having a clear focus, is likely to be qualitative. Quality research is based on clear and unambiguous research questions. Continuing further Prof. Jones discussed the changing role of the Teacher Educator as a mentor. Overall, the key elements highlighted in his keynote address were to develop research literacy by critically reading international academic journals. Some fundamental points in educational research include quality in research, expertise, originality, accurate observation and description.
Mr. Sushil Pundeer, Joint Director Schools, Higher Education (HimachalPradesh), Shimla, presided over the session. Speaking on the changing role of the Teacher Educator in today’s academic scenario teacher these days is a facilitator. Through collaborative inquiry and reflective practice, educators can continue to build their capacities and capabilities in educational research. He also highlighted that data collected for research must be valid and ethically sound.
Prof. Ken Jones, in the second phase of his keynote address on “How to write Research Paper for International Journal”, focused that while writing an article one must avoid cut and paste, avoid report style bullet points and be aware of plagiarism and self-plagiarism. While preparing the journal manuscript one must take care to choose clear title, always supply keywords and ensure references cited in text appear in bibliography. Finally, be prepared to rewrite or alter the paper and try again. He advised the scholars to work in pairs as critical friends and not to get disillusioned by rejection.
Dr. Rajesh Kumar Sharma, Assistant Professor (Department of Education (ICDEOL) H.P. University, Shimla) presided over the session, highlighting the importance of research and how to meet the standards for acceptance of papers in national and international journals.
Later on in the afternoon two parallel technical sessions were organised based on the sub- themes.
Sub Theme I- Issues and Challenges in Educational Research
The chairpersons for this subtheme were Prof. M.L.Thakur and Dr. Tripta Sharma. Ms. Amritbir Kaur Rapporteur highlighted the issues of data collected, tools to be used for the research. The challenges faced includes authenticity of the data collected and time constraint in completing the research.
Sub Theme- II ‘International Perspective of Research in Teacher Education’ the chair persons were Dr. Rakesh Sandhu, Dr. Sushila Narang and Dr. Ranbir Singh Kingra. Dr. Sangeeta Sood, Rapporteur in her report presented the issues related to research in teacher education. This research should be qualitative and the results later on could be generalised on teacher educators.
Panel discussion was held and panelists were Dr. Ramesh Sandhu, Prof. M.L. Thakur, Dr. Sushila Narang and Dr. Rakesh Sandhu.
Dr. Ramesh Sandhu highlighted that such seminars and conferences are a must for professional growth. IPDA, India has given a platform to all the teachers to come and share their views on different issues concerning educational research.
Dr. Sushila Narang extended gratitude towards the convener, Dr. Balwant Singh for organizing this seminar. She highlighted the issue and challenges faced by the researchers and discussed the benefits of conducting research for the society.
Convergences and Resolutions
Prof. Ken Jones resolved that to grow professionally teachers must put in consistent efforts to become effective teachers. Research in teacher education must help in the continuous development of the researcher and teacher educator. Through research, a teacher can improve his transversal teaching competencies which include his attitude, interests and mastering of new skills. It was converged and resolved to work in the area of Leadership and Mentoring amongst teacher educators. Prof. Ken Jones appreciated this effort of IPDA India to organize an International Seminar on the most important and recent theme of ‘Quality Research in Teacher Education’. He congratulated the organizers and delegates for making this event a grand success. He also felt elevated by the positive response of delegates, their healthy interactions, presentations of worthy papers and high sense of seriousness to bring ground level changes for solving the problems of teacher education.
In the valedictory session, Dr. Balwant Singh presented awards of honour to the distinguished guests. Certificates were awarded to those who presented papers in the seminar. An interesting and impressive International cultural and musical celebrations were held to mark the diversity in unison. A fervour of Welsh, Punjabi, Himachali, Haryanvi and Rajasthani music added colours to this evening and left unforgettable memories. Dr. Manpreet Kaur presented vote of thanks followed by National Anthem.