If perceived in terms of aspects of students that a teacher is supposed to attend to, the goal of any teaching process can be spotted anywhere along a continuum. At one end of the continuum objective of teaching is highly structured and mandatory. At the other end it is structure free where teacher’s discretionary power sets the objectives and it is purely his/her choice. In the mandatory spiritual awakening movies, structured side there is a prescribed syllabus, explicit learning objectives and consequent cognitive skills to be developed in the students by the act of teaching. In the unstructured side of the continuum, the teacher is expected to deal with those aspects of students which are not prescribed in the syllabus but indispensable for effective assimilation and mastery of all things prescribed in the structured mandatory side. They are known as “non-brain” aspects of student life. They include students’ mindset, motivation to learn, effort, goal setting skills, his/her study habits, self-efficacy etc. Whether a teacher should pay attention to these dimensions of student life is purely subjected to the discretionary power of the teacher. In this sense, quality teaching is not exclusively a matter of transferring of knowledge prescribed in the syllabus. But it is very much linked to teacher’s willingness to explore non-mandatory areas in student-teacher relationship. In the realm of non-mandatory aspects of teacher-student relationship teacher can exercise her autonomous power as nobody can question her choices she makes here. She/he is free to exercise inclusiveness in teaching by attending to emotional, social, psychological aspects of learning or to remain totally impervious to these “non-brain” aspects of students learning. But bitter truth is, non-brain aspects of learning like motivation, study habits, self-efficacy, resilience etc has crucial role in the proper functioning of many cognitive aspects of learning like processing of information, attention, retention, reproducing or recalling of learned material (memory), creative skills, reasoning etc. Ongoing research findings in various branches of psychology, education, neurosciences etc vouch for it.
The actual success of teaching lies in teacher’s willingness to pay attention to cognitive as well as non-cognitive aspects of student brain and regulate teaching accordingly. Not much educational institutions have the systemic regulations for evaluating whether teaching is all inclusive. But all institutions assess teaching professionals for more objective aspects like finishing the topics at right time, class hours teacher spends with students, timely evaluation of assignments, class tests conducted etc. In many institutions, evaluating teachers for their quality of teaching is mainly confined to the criterion of percentage of students who come out successfully in the examination. Beyond that, institutions do not probe into the queries related to quality teaching.
Pass percentage of students can never be a reliable criteria for assessing the quality of teaching in this era of knowledge explosion where the teacher is one of the myriad available sources of knowledge. Innumerable resources like local tuition centers, internet search engines, free online courses are at the finger tip of student population. For a student of modern world teacher is only a formal figure in the process of knowledge acquisition. Compared to gigantic digital sources like internet, a teacher’s repository of knowledge is limited and rather inferior. Moreover, availability of interactive video lectures on any topic under the sky undermines the necessity of attending real class rooms for learning. Hence pass percentage is not always an exclusive product of class-room teaching and nevertheless a proof for quality in teaching.
Social skills that can be developed by attending the schools during early stages is the major factor that forces parents to send their wards to school. In this era of technology, the profession of teaching is ticking just because of one-one face to face relationship the class room ambience can offer to the student. Hence quality of class room teaching is a matter of maintaining the quality of that one-one relationship. It is never a matter of transferring of knowledge rather it is a matter of quality with which knowledge is transferred. This quality is purely a function of inclusiveness with which teacher deals student’s life. Teacher’s discretionary power determines actual quality of teaching as there is no law insisting teaching to be all inclusive. There aren’t any systemic regulations insisting that teacher should attend to social, emotional, psychological or moral aspects of student life. Depletion of quality education in any society is due to lack of viable strategies to ensure whether there is inclusiveness in teaching. Whether teaching is taking place for transferring knowledge or transforming student life is the crucial question.
No profession is as mysterious as teaching is. Nobody can assess objectively what a teacher does inside the class room. Nor can anybody constrain activities of a teacher in the class by suggesting what he/she should do. The quality of classroom ambience is the prerogative of a qualified teacher. The subjectivity within which teacher-student relationship is functioning is so precarious that teacher has total freedom to personalize it. Even the students’ evaluation of teachers can not make any considerable impact on “how a teacher relates to his/her professional space”. No wonder educationists and their research attempts do not cater much to the criteria for measurement and evaluation of teaching process for its quality. So far there are few valid tools to evaluate effectiveness of teaching. This mysterious aura surrounding the teacher is so captivating and teacher’s autonomy inside the class room is so superior that no force from outside can curb it. Often administrative restrictions or rules and regulations of the system can not penetrate the liaison developed between the teacher and her/his students. Because teacher is the sole authority who determines the quality or authenticity of interpersonal relationship which is the basis of entire process of teaching.