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  • Category: Education

    How do we inculcate the research bent of mind?

    Wondering how to inculcate a research bent of mind among teachers? Looking out for methods to do so? Find suggestions form experts on this page.

    There are always superb institutions in every field, like the Delhi School of Economics. There are colleges that are world famous, since they have started moving with the times. For example, at the Loyola College, Chennai, so many decades ago, a superbly thought out course called BSc Visual Communication was started in the college.

    Over the years, this course has become so famous and has been giving hundreds of trained manpower to the big media houses like NDTV, Sun TV and the like. The students are well trained in the nuances of film direction, script writing, photography, creative thinking, story writing and what have you. Since the entire focus is so much job oriented, the students learn the course so well and are always on the go. This course is now available in so many Chennai colleges as well.

    Allied to this concept of job orientation is the research bent of mind. This should allow the teacher to not only undertake the academic research where everything is proved empirically, but also research in and of, the real world.

    This becomes so essential in a course like the MBA. For instance, if the teacher is not able to relate the example of Nano car of the Tatas with the concept of Blue Ocean Strategy, how will the student learn what is expected in the industry? How will he know or appreciate the knowledge that is so vital, in terms of the concept and its inter-link with the industry.

    There is another concept of Core Competence, the co-author of which was a superb professor, whose name was C.k. Prahalad. Though he is now no more, during his lifetime, he influenced the minds of hundreds of corporate organizations round the world and helped them redefine their businesses like never before.

    How do we bring the MBA teachers to understand such concepts and make the students understand? This is a huge challenge.

    Research is so important in economics, sociology, psychology, and in sciences. Yet, most teachers pay, at best, lip service to research.

    Inculcating the research bent of mind, is an urgent priority of the UGC. It is either now or never.
  • Answers

    1 Answers found.
  • Research is of paramount importance in the long term health of the country itself. In India, today education is focused on getting the highest number and be able to crack the competitive exams or have the best campus recruitment in hand.

    We need to have a comprehensive plan that would involve the Government, the education experts, the universities, the students and their families.

    1. We need a culture of inoculating research right from a very young age. It could be a simple experiment of trying to grow a plant with and without supplements or studying the effects of a particular diet on an animal model etc. This should be nurtured right up to the point where the student completes post graduation.

    2.From the level of 10th standard, we should encourage students to do a research project (on their own), present it at an inter-school meet and publish it as a school journal for the state.

    3.We need to develop a system wherein by the time the candidate starts his/her UG, they should be well versed with the basics of research design, protocols, observation and writing a report.

    4.Students pursuing research should be given an incentive to do so, it should help them by having a weightage for enrolling into a UG course or get a job. For instance, in England getting a training job in the medical field, research work, presenting papers, publishing papers all this helps right from the medical school level.

    5.We need to get parents to understand that pursuing research is not a waste of time, it would pay its dividends in due course right from getting a entry seat in a professional course to a regular job.

    6.From the education policy makers, we need to have a plan from them so as to ensure that the students are not over burdened. The existing syllabus has to be modified to incorporate research and make a certain part of the other contents optional. This can be tailor made to the subject in question. The education planners also need to have a pool of intellectual minds that can help and guide the institutions and students to take up to research.

    7.The Government should provide grants and do mandatory checks that these grants are actually used for research work ( labs, infrastructure, hiring of experts etc). Genuine research work carried out by the departments should be used for ranking the departments within the college, within colleges in an university and within universities in the state and the country. This would bring a competitive edge to the whole research concept in India.

    8.The Universities and private organisations should also put in sincere efforts to hire and retain talented researchers as teachers and honor the true commitment towards propagating research in practice. They need to invest on infrastructure and skills.

    9.The employers be it public or private firms should have a certain percentage of marks allotted to research built in towards selecting a candidate.

    10.Once we have this multi-pronged approach from all aspects the success of research would start in India.In simple terms we need to get the equation of supply and demand going for research in India.

    11. Then we need to have a sincere appraisal of how the entire project of research in education is actually taking shape. This can be done once in 2-3 years to iron out the issues that can be unique to a particular place and system. This important assessment when done by a team of Government experts and research pioneers who can really help in true growth of research.

    12. To start with, we can study the models employed in USA, UK and Europe in terms of research in various fields and courses that led to the award of a UG or a PG degree.

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