The Intersection of Traditional Wisdom and Modern Education: Unpacking the Potential of Folk Pedagogy in the Context of India’s National Education Policy 2020

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Ashutosh K Prabhakar


This article explores the critical interface of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 and the potential of folk pedagogy in enhancing India’s educational landscape. The NEP 2020, with its emphasis on local, indigenous knowledge systems and a transformative vision for India’s education system, provides an unprecedented opportunity for mainstreaming folk pedagogy into contemporary teaching-learning practices. Approved by the Union Cabinet in 2020 National Education Policy ushered in avant-garde reforms to the education policy of India. Folk pedagogy, a term used to describe traditional modes of education practiced by various indigenous and local communities, carries immense value in terms of cultural preservation, community engagement, and learner-centric methodologies. It promotes experiential learning, critical thinking, and creativity by organically integrating local culture, resources, and traditional wisdom into education. Its salient features and key recommendations exceptionally call for flexibility, multi-disciplinarity, critical thinking and ethical values, multilingualism and the three-language formula. An exceptional emphasis on the power of language and the inclusion of mother/regional under the larger context of Indian ethos has been witnessed for the time.  NEP 2020 with such emphasis ushers a pedagogical paradigm shift that seeks to reestablish lost Indian pedagogical heritages and their folk orientation, where education is experiential, diverse, holistic, creative, critical, multidisciplinary and multilingual. By intertwining the principles of NEP 2020 with the rich, culturally diverse practices of folk pedagogy, the article envisages a dynamic, inclusive, and effective education system. It underscores the significant role folk pedagogy can play in achieving NEP’s objectives of creating an equitable and vibrant knowledge society by leveraging local knowledge systems and fostering a deep sense of respect towards the rich cultural heritage of India. The article critically reviews the extent to which NEP 2020 allows for the incorporation of folk pedagogy in its framework, and analyzes how this can be made more effective. It addresses challenges and potential strategies for incorporating folk pedagogy into the mainstream educational practices and curriculum development. The article argues for an extensive dialogue and collaboration among educators, policymakers, and community stakeholders to facilitate this integration, ultimately nurturing a pedagogical system that is grounded in the culture, context, and aspirations of learners. This strategic amalgamation could empower India’s education system to meet the future challenges of the rapidly evolving global knowledge economy, while staying true to its unique cultural roots.


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Ashutosh K Prabhakar. “The Intersection of Traditional Wisdom and Modern Education: Unpacking the Potential of Folk Pedagogy in the Context of India’s National Education Policy 2020”. The Creative Launcher, vol. 8, no. 2, Apr. 2023, pp. 115-21, doi:10.53032/tcl.2023.8.2.15.
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