CENTA®’s testing shows that the teacher’s own ‘Subject Expertise’ (especially conceptual understanding and application of the subject) is an area of concern, with average scores ranging from 30 to 40%. This has the important implication that subject understanding needs to be combined with teacher education – a view that is aligned with NEP 2020 also.
This is reflected even more starkly in pedagogical understanding, where, across CENTA® tests, teachers perform better in generic questions on pedagogy (e.g. steps to create a lesson plan or meaning of formative assessment) than subject-specific pedagogy or what is called Pedagogical Content Knowledge (lesson planning in the subject, student assessment in the subject, etc.).
Though the issue is there across the board, CENTA® has found some subject-wise differences; e.g. Middle School Math shows lower performance than average in subject understanding vs. Secondary and Senior Secondary Biology shows higher performance.
CENTA® has found negligible differences in teacher competencies between government-run schools and private schools. Private schools have performed marginally better in most subjects and years.
Similarly, CENTA®’s testing has shown negligible differences across schools from Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities, though Tier 3 city schools have performed worse on Communication and Professional competencies.
CENTA® has found negligible differences in teacher competencies between government-run schools and private schools. Private schools Overall, CENTA®’s work shows that performance across schools is less variable than performance within a school. This has two important implications:
(i) It is important for schools to focus on individual teacher competencies by rewarding those showing great competencies and developing those showing gaps.
(ii) It is possible for many schools to find internal resources for developing their broader base of teachers have performed marginally better in most subjects and years.