Perspective Education

Encourage faculty research

Teachers participating in a workshop on effective English teachi. Photo: D. Radhakrishnan.   | Photo Credit: D_Radhakrishnan

Though vital discoveries were made during the past three centuries, unparalleled excitement through innovations has been witnessed and experienced in the past couple of decades, in almost all fields, particularly the sciences. The role played by research institutions and universities in accomplishing these tasks cannot be overemphasised. Joining them are the R&D of corporate sectors who have translated discoveries to application-oriented products.

Under these circumstances, can we restrict the area of research to just these sectors, or can we initiate them more intently and vigorously in colleges and at the senior secondary school levels? It is therefore considered that research in colleges, if not in schools, must be enhanced taking into account the benefits that would accrue due to it.

Faculty with research degrees: A high level of quality is ensured in recruitment of faculty in colleges today. This is assessed based on a teacher’s score in National and State Eligibility Tests (NET/SET) and research degree, which include post-doctoral experiences combined with relevant publications. While they are recruited to teach in colleges, they should be adequately motivated to take up research in the initial stages itself. Such research-oriented teachers are often able to handle classes in an interesting manner, thus making subjects relevant to students. The young faculty should aim at good publications and at eventually getting research projects sanctioned by funding agencies, which would sustain the research fervour of an individual.

Motivation to students: When a faculty of such calibre handles classes, the same would be highly interesting to students. Today’s students are well informed, and are also exposed to various developments. These developments ignite their inquisitive minds. Faculty can periodically, during their classes, educate students on their current research endeavours, challenges and opportunities, thus encouraging them to keep alive their creative ideas. Overseas universities have captured this approach in their curriculum, leading to innovations while still in college.

Student research projects: It is gratifying to note that both the Central and State governments, as well as universities, are encouraging young faculty and students to submit small research projects, and fund them. This gives students an opportunity to handle different aspects of the project — from conceiving an idea, planning and execution of work, analysis of results, to preparation of project report. In addition to having a reasonable knowledge on budget and expenditure, this will help them in the long run. Internships are provided to students during vacation in both government and private sectors, which greatly benefit them.

Future careers: With research exposure at the college level, students are poised for a brighter future. If this strategy is adopted by most arts and science colleges in India, it will create a pool of research-oriented men and women who will be ready to make contributions in their chosen fields.

The writer is Principal and Secretary, Madras Christian College, Chennai.

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Printable version | Mar 7, 2021 12:35:34 PM |

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