Continuous Professional Development as per the National Educational Policy (NEP) 2020

According to the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 document, the term ‘ Teacher Professional Development’ refers to the “professional growth a teacher achieves as a result of gaining increased experience and examining his or her teaching systematically”. 

( Glatthorn, 1995).

The thought around professional development (PD) in NEP 2020  highlights that a teacher should be aware of his/ her gap areas in professional learning that helps in consciously planning continuous activities that would aid the teaching career and design a process that updates his or her existing knowledge or learn new strategies and approaches in different ways.

The National Education Policy (NEP) 2020

The National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 states that teachers should be involved in a well planned and executed Continuous Professional Development on a long term basis to give regular opportunities and experiences to every teacher. This would help to promote growth and development of teachers in their profession, perceiving learning and development as a

  • Cognitive process
  • Continuous process of personal growth and development
  • Reflective practice

Though teacher training programmes have been there for a long, long time, most of them have failed in India, perhaps because the model led to teachers being passive recipients of processes and knowledge. Over time this has resulted in low understanding and retention of knowledge and led to teacher inability to implement practical active teaching methodologies.

Hence classrooms have failed to be active learning spaces, leading to poor or no classroom inquiry. Passive methodologies in classrooms have resulted in low engagement of learners, with poor learning outcomes.

Indian Education systems and training

In India, there is a pressing need for teachers to get continuous opportunities for regular professional development, especially because most of the pre-service teacher education systems  have not evolved at the same pace as the needs of learners have evolved in the 21st Century. Teachers have shown a limited understanding around practical, active and reflective teaching processes, which are essential in today’s times, if we want to build skills and competencies in learners.

The Education systems and trainings have by and large been of poor quality and have practically failed to evolve classroom methodologies and learning experiences to give active, hands on, experiential, and student centric learning experiences.

Features of NEP 2020

To bring about a paradigm shift needed in today’s times, NEP 2020 suggests that a well rounded CPD programme should address some of the following generic and subject specific concerns of teachers to aid their robust and holistic professional development:

  • There is a need to understand the needs of every learner
  • There is a need to understand the Curricular Goals and competencies listed in the National Curricular Framework
  • Build an understanding around overall health, and well being
  • The need to understand the holistic development from a Panchakosh perspective
  • The need to understand and develop pedagogical interactions from a gender inclusive perspective
  • Understand rootedness and pride in India
  • Understanding how to build pedagogical approaches that are contextual
  • Building inter connectedness between subjects
  • Understand 21st Century teaching learning strategies
  • Building strategies for improving classroom practices
  • Use Research based pedagogy in classrooms
  • Design and implement Art integrated teaching
  • Build Sports integrated and toy based teaching learning experiences
  • Build experiential Learning
  • Understand 360 degrees, holistic assessments
  • Build teaching learning strategies around problem solving and explore ICT based teaching learning, which is not restricted to PPTs
  • Build an understanding of the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations and instil Global Citizenship among children
  • Create teaching learning practices that lead towards Holistic growth and Development of children, with physical, cognitive, social, emotional and spiritual domains given equal weightage

Besides, the following have been huge systemic concerns that the NEP wants to address:

  • Quality attainment in schools
  • Vocational integration in school education
  • Implementation of vocational training while implementing the suggested bagless days for students from grades 6 to 12
  • Building community engagement
  • Usage of appropriate continuous assessment tools like discussion forums, project based learning, quiz based, and reflective diaries. Multiple choice questions, reflective questions, discussion forums, assignments and field based questions shall be a part of all assessments.

NEP 2020 and Continuous Professional Development

It is highly suggested in the National Education Policy 2020 document that teachers create an annual continuous professional development calendar either at an individual level, or at the school or block level to raise their career graph. The annual CPD calendar should be prepared quarterly, in a scientific manner, so that every teacher attends CPD activities either on a Face to Face, Online, group, blended or distance mode courses to create a CPD portfolio of 50 hours every year.

The participation of teachers in field activities, faculty exchange visits or even exposure to programmes in other academic activities shall get added in CPD activities.

To sum up, every teacher must complete Continuous Professional Development (CPD) of 50 hours annually, with a combination of

  • Experiential workshops
  • Online workshops and webinars
  • Open and distance learning courses which could even be self paced
  • Other education based activities like attending symposiums, conferences, Educational festivals, participating in discussion forums etc