«Published Annually Vol. 6, No. 1 ISBN 978-0-979-7593-3-8 CONFERENCE PROCEEDINGS Sawyer School of Business, Suffolk University, Boston, Massachusetts ...»
The temperament of modern technology being grossly mechanistic, the mindset of the people embracing it, is influenced to focus exclusively on objective returns which in today’s setup are commercial and profit oriented. The technology being detrimental to our holistic existence is devoid of values facilitating selfish culture. Sadly this spirit of technology has become the primary springboard of today’s globalization culture. Consequently the spirit of globalization which was originally based on “interrelated and interdependent” web of humanity culture is yet to be internalized as we find today “survival of fittest” has taken over. The teaching profession being largely influenced by this motto has resulted in imbalance of skills and values affecting not only the productivity but has also resulted in employability and sustainability problems within the education sector.
5.1.1 Imbalance of Skills and Values
A good command over technology is instilling false pride and giving rise to unethical attitude among teaching fraternity. From short term perspective, some of the teachers are indeed productive, as they are confident, carry charisma and have excellent influencing skills with the help of latest teaching pedagogical tools based on technology. But from long term perspectives they could be damaging to the institution. They get independent minded and become obsessed about their skills, are attached to designation of power, focus on personal gain through institutional goals and lack empathy towards students and colleagues.
They are selfish about their survival and don’t take interest in training their colleagues in new skills and technology. They develop intense competitive spirit and are in a hurry to increase their credentials for fast recognition and achieve personal target thereby failing to do justice to teaching profession. Due to lack of integrity with the organization, they lose reverence and 34 This verse found in Hitopadesha 1.3.71: Udaracharitanam tu vasudhaiva kutumbakam’, meaning, ‘This is my own relative and that is a stranger’ – is the calculation of the narrow-minded; for the magnanimous-hearts, however, the entire earth is but one family. We have a common mother earth who is a conscious sentient being.
Conference papers © Knowledge Globalization Institute, Pune, India, 2012 respect for hierarchy of the institution as well its members. Therefore from institution view point, they are likely to carry disvalues in the long run.
It has also been observed that the liberty to coach the students from homes or private classes with exclusive focus on objectified target, has also given rise to unethical practices besides distancing the students from the institutions with regard to their identity.
Their disposition at times lacks reflective attitude towards the teaching profession. Sometimes the research paper submitted at the conferences lack the required passion to internalize the research subject in order to serve the academic community.
Instead, they are simply happy to increase the number of papers as part of their scholastic credentials for recognition and promotion in education sector.
Ironically, the state governments are working out different approaches to make the teachers more committed to teaching profession. Some time back UGC passed a resolution that all teachers must work for 40 hours a week in the college and that their attendance is likely to be monitored by technology based on bio-metric system as the manual attendance muster is misused. Father Frazer Mascarenhas, principal of St Xavier’s College, Mumbai was quick to respond on its effectiveness. He said, “We had tried this technique for our non-teaching staff but it did not work. I don’t know how the biometric system will increase attendance.”
5.1.2 Insentient temperament of the education structure
Other influence of technology is its insentient temperament and objectification of the entire education structure. There are terms such as product, services, customer, profit and so on used in place of vidya(knowledge), guru(teacher), shisya(student), dakshina(tuition fees) etc. as a result one’s mindset gets adapted to the former in an objective way sans sentient attribute which is associated with latter. The quantification aspect takes precedence over qualitative divine human traits. Exclusive use of e-pedagogy tools including video conferencing, e-learning, virtual training have replaced the conventional personalized teaching system which nurtured strong loving personal bond between teacher and student. Within the traditional knowledge system, there was a natural obligation, empathy and overall mentoring towards students by teachers and reverence and submissiveness was exhibited by students towards teachers. Today, teachers, students, knowledge are all treated as ‘objects’ whose ‘value’ depends on the quantitative returns ‘it’ can provide. The knowledge imparted by teacher to student to make him wise in life to meet life’s challenges is perverted into need based services to earn a degree/money for good living and accolades. The tuition fees charged and stipend/salary paid are calculated in terms of ‘profit’ or ‘loss’. Overall in this objectification ideology ‘life’ per se loses value, respect and identity and every operation is seen akin to handling non-sentient objects mechanically. Essential elements of human existence like the nurture of all humane qualities are excluded from the education curriculum instead focus is exclusively laid on developing the external aspects of students, teachers and educational institutes. For example, in case of teaching profession the credentials are grossly identified in terms of number of FDP attended, acquisition of new skills/knowledge to use technology, number of students enrolled, number of research papers, awards/degree obtained, and teacher’s experience profile and so on. These can tempt teachers to accept the noble profession like a corporate job asking for more lucrative benefits. Thoughtful people need to inquire and analyze the outcome of such teaching spirit.
There have been several incidents of suicides/depression and deteriorating human values among students and teachers alike during recent past as a result of chasing immediate and relative challenges and contextual recognition.
1. A former head of the department of aerospace engineering in IIT-Kharagpur, was suspended, pending inquiry against him for running a fake institute on the campus and even doling out degrees. There are also allegations that he as the chief vigilance officer and chairman JEE, Kharagpur, gave orders for shredding off JEE papers of 2006.
35 Dis-values are negative traits or qualities like pride, anger, lust, arrogance, greed, hatred, jealous, quarrelsome etc. that is found in a human being.
36 Source: Mumbai Mirror, Jan 17, 2011 37 Source: Times of India, Mumbai Edition, Year 2010-2011 Conference papers © Knowledge Globalization Institute, Pune, India, 2012
2. An engineering professor from Engineering College affiliated to Mumbai university was arrested for conducting exams outside the college and issuing bogus certificates for several students on behalf of Mumbai University. Worst is even in the past he was arrested for similar activities while he was professor of another engineering college.
4. In another episode at a Karnataka school, a school boy of class VIII died after he was punished for coming late. He collapsed and died after being forced to jog around the playground by the headmaster as punishment.
Further it was observed in some cases that research guides insist on taking credits while their students’ work alone on the paper.
The modern education need to seriously examine the above.
Section 5.1 and 5.
2 briefly addresses about the missing integrity, moral development, ethics and a sense of obligation towards educational institution by a teacher under the influence of mechanistic technology and perverted globalization. Therefore it appears there is a need for a transformational teacher who by virtue of developed consciousness has motivation to take up fresh challenges and also nurture end values like integrity which in turn impacts her/his students positively in their overall attitudes cutting across various beliefs, culture and traditions. The transformational teacher by definition has the desire to raise the consciousness of his students through his own moral values and ideals.
He is able to transform his followers beyond the dishonorable emotions of jealously, greed and fear to higher principles of liberty, justice and humanitarianism. As Burns would say, the followers are raised from their “everyday selves” to become “better selves.” Transformational leaders influence followers by serving as a teacher, mentor and coach. They seek to elevate and empower others to a higher level. They can influence superiors, peers or subordinates (www.hillconsultinggroup.org)
According to Burns(1978, 2003), moral development is related to transformational leadership in two ways:
First, moral development is an essential characteristic of transformational leaders who embody the three standards, viz., virtue in their personal life, ethics in their transactional dealings, and universal / transforming terminal values (Burns 2003: 28).
Second, the moral development of followers is an outcome of the transforming relationship. A key criterion for this transformation materializing in the follower is that the transformational leader must be at a slightly higher stage of moral development (Burns 1978: 428) Bass(1985) built on Burns’(1978) work and described transformational leadership in terms of the impact that it has on followers: followers feel trust, admiration and loyalty towards the leader. Transformational leaders motivate followers to do more than the latter originally expected to.
Therefore the transformational teacher will naturally have genuine concern for his/her students, their wellbeing and overall development and the students are inspired by such a teacher to go beyond self-interest. The outcome of transformational teacher is noticed in his/her students who adopts the end values of the teacher especially his integrity and a sense of moral obligation towards Institute’s mission and goal.
5.4 Transformational Teacher based on Traditional Knowledge systems
Empirical studies that establishes the relation between self-awareness and transformational leadership (Suri, Prasad 2011) and between karma yoga and transformational leadership (Mulla, Krishnan 2006, 2007, 2008), both incorporate ancient scriptures.
The findings of later strongly supported the view that ancient Indian perspective is indeed conducive to the emergence of transformational leadership.
Conference papers © Knowledge Globalization Institute, Pune, India, 2012 When we analyze transformational leader with regard to moral development (Burns 1978, 2003) from Vedanta perspective it instructs us that voluntarily undertaking the journey of self evolution leading to transformation of inner self is an important criteria to raise oneself morally and ethically. As consciousness development is at inner level, the resultant actions naturally reflect universal core human values and consequently the moral development is not undermined by any specific culture based on various denominations of traditions that differs in moral reasoning of what is good or bad. The complexity that educational environment face today within varied culture and traditions in the globalized set up coupled by the impact of changing technology in teaching pedagogy demands to cultivate transformational universal teacher based on this ancient wisdom such that change and differences of the phenomenal world does not inhibit his self evolution. Consequently their personal values and virtues are nurtured and this in turn motivates their followers.
The basic assumption to feel inspired by a genuine transformational teacher, is the followers indeed need to have faith in the fundamental tenets of Indian Philosophy like the Upanishads and Gita: focusing on self growth, discovering potential divinity, discriminating between reality and transient and following niskama karma yoga.
5.4.1 Education structure
The education structure during ancient times by and large necessitated the need for transformational or universal teacher.
During ancient India the education system was perfectly channeled to create transformational students(leaders) and as a result it naturally required an enlightened or transformed human being to become a teacher who was fondly revered by his pupils or shisya as ‘guru’.
The qualification of guru is stated follow:
samit-panih srotriyam brahma-nistham (A guru is highly learned and expert in understanding Vedic conclusion and firmly fixed and devoted to Truth, free from all defects found in ordinary human being. The word srotriyam refers to one who has learned from another realized(transformed) teacher.) Therefore, the necessary and sufficient condition to become a guru was he must be a transformational or universal teacher before he takes up the service of giving knowledge. Hence, the learning system was naturally learner centric. The primary aim of education was to attain completeness of life, by ‘bringing out perfection’ in human which is inherent quality of self.
Therefore, the education was aimed to develop student’s total potential through transformation. The emphasis was on moral and ethical living to foster self-growth and not immediate pleasure.
There were three essential aspects associated with ancient education: