Introduction and Introspection
Often I am asked to pen my thoughts on various aspects of University Administration. In my opinion, the dominant aspect is the Academic administration, the components of which are Teachers, Students, and the Academic Ambience. Before I proceed further, I would like to caution the readers about a common tendency in writing on matters of general interest. In my case, often I find that I tend to fall back to the tone of “Advice,” while dwelling on a subject matter such as the discourse under scrutiny. An immediate interpretation of my approach could be a weakness to satisfy my ego. A closer view (with a bushel of benevolence) of such behaviour, can throw an interpretation that it is a sign of anxiety of an extremely concerned individual (perhaps arising out of decades of experience and learning) to ensure that a certain element of “Inspiration” coupled with the right mix of “Caution” is communicated.
However, the interpretation is entirely subjected to the state of mind of the beholder. As Sir C P Ramaswamy Iyer once said, “Advices can be ‘taken’ or ‘mistaken’. It depends”. Notwithstanding the interpretation, methinks that the essential purpose of every advice on matters such as teaching must be to help teachers in their actual daily work, so as to assist them in increasing the effectiveness of their classroom lectures. One must remember that the subjects taught, the methodology of teaching, and curricula at all levels of learning have been evolving over a century; it continues to evolve as the awareness about the need for learning constantly expands.
Before we proceed further, it is interesting to note that the questions such as “What is Education?”, “How Education should Be Imparted?”, and “When does Education becomes Effective?” are asked and answered by Great men of the past, spanning several centuries.
Let us begin with some introspection and try to see if we can find some answers. The following questions naturally arise in the minds of not only teachers but also the society around us.