In a nation like India which is home to different ethnic groups, religions and cultures, this programme that seeks to broaden the outlook of students and teachers, making them responsible citizens of society, has special relevance. The traditional programme of today’s universities is falling short of value –based education which is a key requirement of today’s turbulent world. Therefore there is an urgent need to promote research on such aspect of education which is novel, universally relevant, and bridges an important gap in traditional education. Such researches aim at building capabilities, true happiness, social harmony and peace and human rights and duties. The teaching-learning processes currently practiced in institutions of higher learning are not conducive to students’ participation and empowerment. Indeed a large number of students avoid attending their classes due to such environments prevailing in the classrooms. Hence there is a great need to conduct research projects and train teachers in value-based, interactive, participatory, and cooperative learning methodologies that are followed in renowned universities worldwide. In this way not only academic performance of the students is enhanced but also their moral excellence is augmented to bloom and become the torch bearers of the reconstruction of the society which is fallen apart due to the constant erosion of social and moral values.
The focus of the Baha’i Academy is on minor research projects in the area of Value Education/ Universal Human Values for Personal Development and Social Progress. Value Education is one of core themes emphasized by all eminent educationists, Education Commissions, the UGC and NAAC that has included inculcating value system in the students as one of the main criteria for assessment and accreditation of colleges and universities.
Since for the past fifteen years the Bahá’í Academy has been continuously working in the field of research, curriculum development, training and implementing the research based programme of Education in Universal Human Values for the benefit of thousands teachers and students of higher academic institutions, it is in the best position to share its experiences and guide interested candidates in conducting research in this crucial aspect of education today. There is hardly any other institution fully dedicated to conducting such type of research or has the necessary expertise and capacity to serve this purpose.
Finally since annually hundreds of students join various modules of Education in Universal Human Values programme of the Baha’iAcademy; such research activities can hugely promote research in value education among teachers and students of various faculties and generate an encouraging atmosphere of ethics and cooperation among all. Regular data collection, documentation and reporting by the Academy students who undertake community projects, called Service Learning Activities, after each module are precious sources of knowledge in the area of value education for institutions of higher learning. This is an invaluable opportunity to strengthen this neglected aspect of higher education through concrete suggestions and research based recommendations which may be useful to policy conceivers, makers and implementers.
The following communities benefit from these research undertakings in various ways:
A. Teachers benefit through enhancing their research capabilities and worldview
B. Students benefit through accomplishing their academic tasks as well as generating new knowledge in the area of value education/universal human values
C. Local Communities benefit through researches that are often action based and focus on community/social development
D. Institutions benefit through developing innovative curriculum components and courses
Academy’s Research Activities: The activities being implemented consist of:
a) Offering one or more Orientation Workshops per year on research methodology and writing. A maximum of 15-20 participants attend each workshop. These Workshops are interactive and participatory in nature, encouraging generation of new ideas, new knowledge, building consensus and empowering the participants. Learning will take place through mutual exchange of experiences amongthe participants and imparting new knowledge, concepts, skills, attitudes and qualities.
b) Providing guidance to the researchers
c) Providing access to the Academy’s library and learning resource centre
d) Providing PCs for typing and formatting papers and thesis
All the facilities are provided at nominal costs to the researching teachers and students.
e) Publishing papers in digital or hard copies
f) Organizing National/International Research Conference once a year in the area of universal human values. The Bahá’í Academy trains the interested UG and PG students, whenever required, in research writing.
Duration of each Research Project: 1-2 years
Target Group: Students and teachers of the institutions of higher learning
Examples of Some Research Themes and Topics:
Themes may include
Sub Themes/Topics may include
the performance of college teachers and the teacher-studentrelationship
The Bahá’í Academy’s team of distinguishedResearch & Recognition Committee members and well experienced researchguides and supervisors assist the researchers. These guides come from various faculties of education, science, humanities, commerce and management, environment, and political science.