Skilling India: The Role of Pedagogy in Developing Life Skills

In response to recent concerns expressed by Indian industry about the ‘employability’ of school and university graduates, this paper examines the role of pedagogy in developing life skills (or 21st century skills) and how these can be incorporated in the school/university curriculum. In recent curricular frameworks, life skills have been incorporated within the school curriculum by stressing the importance of inquiry and collaborative work through all subjects taught in school. The paper finds a similar emphasis in the National Curriculum Framework (NCF) in India. Using classroom observations and textbook analyses, it shows that learning objectives in schools are frequently incorrect or misaligned with the NCF vision. The paper briefly touches on how the beliefs of teachers affect their classroom practices and recommends that attention should be paid to the professionalisation of teachers, as only then can students acquire skills that are relevant for the 21st century, which is what employers want. 

Renu Gupta
May 2018