Efforts to improve the 'quality' of education for all in government primary schools in India have seen a shift towards child-centred teaching. This paper examines the 'Joyful Learning' programme, an example of a pedagogic reform implemented in rural primary schools in the southern Indian state of Karnataka. Through an empirical analysis of teachers' pedagogic discourses, I explore what it means to introduce child-centred pedagogic principles in low-income, rural Indian contexts. Of particular interest to this paper is how new forms of pedagogic control in child- centred approaches might be understood and mediated by teachers. The analysis reveals how the social controls of knowledge acquisition can remain unchallenged, and hidden, by the rhetoric of this child-centred pedagogy. The discussions reflect on the need for more complex and contextual considerations of pedagogy in attempts to achieve 'quality' universal education.
Bibliographical noteprovisional acceptance date added, based on publication information.
- Child-centred pedagogy
- Pedagogic reform
- Primary education