How Do We Measure Change?

We repeatedly find ourselves saying that working on improving education implies change. That is because the very core of education – in terms of key relationships, processes and the critical outcomes desired – itself is expected to undergo a transformation. Some of the biggest differences expected are in terms of
  • undoing the existing hierarchy,
  • increasing accountability,
  • evolving the role of the key stakeholders such as children and community from passive to active,
  • in fact even a reversal of the notion of the 'beneficiary' (especially after the RTE, children and the community are the reasons why the education system exists; and teachers, educational officers and others in the system are the beneficiaries in that they get their salaries because children have a right to education)
  • preparing children for life rather than just for examinations.

Thus it is not just a case of revision in components such as curriculum or textbooks or training or assessment but bringing about much deeper changes that will then manifest themselves in the different components. Change, therefore, in the underpinnings or the foundations themselves, implies major shift in emphasis, ways of working, the means used, the technical and human / social capabilities required, and a myriad other things. All this adds up to one word: change.

Much has been said on the issue of what this change is and the different ways of bringing it about (and more will appear too). But the one unresolved question confronting us is: how will we know if real change is actually happening, and to what extent? Is there any way in which we can capture / describe and 'measure' such deep change? As of now, the question really has us stumped. Any suggestions?