Introduction to Educational Thought

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Course TypeCourse CodeNo. Of Credits
Foundation CoreSES2011022

Semester and Year Offered: 2nd Semester (Winter)

Course Coordinator and Team: SES Faculty

Email of course coordinator:

Pre-requisites: NA

Course Objectives/Description:

This course is visualised as a guided reading course. The core objective of the course is to introduce students to a few seminal/critical texts in education and facilitate a process of collective and deeper reflection on these select texts. The course would be conducted in small groups where students participate in reading, reflection and writing along with a faculty member. All SES faculty members may be involved in the conduct of this course.

Course Outcomes:

On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate skills of close reading of texts and ability to comprehend arguments about issues related to education.
  2. Synthesise arguments of key thinkers and relate with their contemporary contexts in written or other formats.
  3. Develop an emergent glossary of keywords central to the discourses in education.
  4. Express critical and comprehensive thinking amidst a community of peers.
  5. Demonstrate competence in academic writing.


Assessment Details with weights:

  1. Reading Response paper Thinker 1 & 2 (40% Jan & Feb)
  2. Reading Response paper Thinker 1 & 2 (40% March & April)
  3. Class participation (20%; Throughout the course)


Brief description of modules/ Main modules:

There are four overall modules in this course that focus on close reading, discussion, reflection and writing responses based on readings of four critical thinkers of education. Each module focuses on one thinker, which evolves over different years.

Week 1: Introduction

Week 2 - 4:

  • Ambedkar, BR. (1990) Waiting for a Visa. People's Education Society. Chapter One.
  • Rodrigues, V. (2002). The Essential Writings of B.R. Ambedkar. New Delhi: Oxford University Press. Introduction: pp 1-17.
  • Chapter 2: Concepts: Sec 3: Democracy & Sec 4: Franchise. pp 55-56 & 60-74.


Week 5 - 7:

  • Sen, A. (2001) Tagore and his India. The New York Review.
  • Guha, R. (2009). Introduction. In Tagore, R. (edited collection) Nationalism. Penguine. Pp. vii-x.
  • Gupta, U.D. (2009). The Oxford India Tagore: Selected Writings on Education and Nationalism. New Delhi: Oxford University Press. Pp. 131-145.


Week 8-10:

  • Freire, P. (1996). Pedagogy of the Oppressed. London: UK: Penguin Books
  • Chapter 2. pp. 52-67.
  • Freire, P. & Macedo, D. P. () A Dialogue: Culture, Language and Race. Harvard Educational Review, Vol 65(3), pp. 377-402.


Week 11-13:

  • Sarkar, T. (2008). Strishiksha or Education for Women. In M. E. John (ed.) Women’s Studies in India: A Reader. India: Penguin Books.
  • Excerpts from Rashundari Debi’s Autobiography in: S. Tharu and K. Lalita (1991) (eds.) Women’s Writing in India: 600 BC to the Present. Volume 1.



  • Mukherjee, H.B. (2013). Education for Fullness: A Study of the Educational Thought and Experiment of Rabindranath Tagore. New Delhi: Routledge.
  • hooks, b. (1994). Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom. New York: Routledge.
  • Tagore, R. (1961). Visva-bharati and its Institutions. Calcutta: Shantiniketan.
  • Thorat, S. & Kumar, N. (2008). B.R. Ambedkar: Perspectives on Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policies. New Delhi: Oxford University Press.