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Shanker Dutt Bhatt: leading teachers into the light

What is education? Shanker Dutt Bhatt, a teaching and leadership expert at UNNC, gives his philosophical explanation based on the original definition: it’s a process of transforming, “to lead one out of darkness to light”.

Mr Bhatt, Deputy Director of the Institute for Teaching Excellence (ITE), obtained an MBA (Leadership) from the University of Liverpool, a Master’s degree in Mathematics at the Garhwal University in India and Professional Certificate for teachers and trainers from the University of Cambridge. Prior to UNNC, Mr Bhatt has also lectured at various universities and also worked as a program manager and researcher for such institutions as University of South Australia in Xi’an and University of London external programs in Singapore. With over twenty years of teaching and leadership experience, he has been instrumental in the development of internationalised education for Chinese students for around 17 years.

“Education is mostly ‘goal oriented’”, he says. “From getting prepared for the next stage of education, to finding a job with a satisfying salary, students and their parents focus on fulfilling the future requirements but fail to answer the question ‘who am I?’ - which numerous famous people felt a great need to explore at a later stage in their lives.”

 “Quantitative measurements of the students’ achievements, often adopted when applying for universities or jobs, do not fully characterise who one really is,” he explains.

Mr Bhatt has just finished the Beijing Dongcheng Teacher Training Institute Enhancement Project for English Education. During the week, he and another six experts from Centre for English Language Education (CELE) and the Faculty of Humanity and Social Sciences provided 43 trainees from 24 schools with a first-class teacher training experience.

One of the most common characteristics that impressed the trainees was the experts’ passion for their subjects. “To discover and excite the potential and creativity of the students is significant, and the key is passion, not only for students but also for us teachers,” one trainee said. 

“The idea that ‘the teacher is always right’ not only affects students, but also sets limitations on teachers. They are unnecessarily concerned about making mistakes and fear that they may lose respect,” says Mr Bhatt. “But that inhibits growth of both as teachers come overly prepared leaving no chance for the students to really see that making mistakes is a human behaviour and learning from them is key to healthy growth. Therefore, showing students the process of discovering the mistakes and persistently and productively looking for the solution is actually a great way of teaching and modelling.”

Posted on 28 May 2019