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Share Education in South Asia: Looking Beyond 2015

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The inspiration for this conference is driven by this moment in history. The year 2015 marks an opportunity for us to reassess our goals for education in South Asia. For decades we have concentrated on issues of access, with donors focused on universalization of primary education, gender parity, and teacher shortage. However, as we approach the expiration of the Millennium Development Goals and Education for All, it is a time for retrospection, for renewing our commitments to children and learning, and for reconsidering the frameworks within which we have been working. How can we increase the quality of learning, as opposed to mere access to schooling? Should our priorities start and end in primary school? How does the production of knowledge and culture of schooling affect youth, citizenship, and nation? As practitioners and academics in education and South Asian studies, we have an obligation to consider these questions. This conference aims to highlight graduate research in these domains and to serve as a platform for exploration.


Registration starts at 9:30 am.


Keynote Speaker: Dr. Radhika Iyengar
Panel 1: Early Childhood Education in South Asia
Panel 2: Education and Globalization
Happy hour/networking event to follow, Amsterdam Cafe

For more information, please contact mawhittenberger@gmail.com or mtc2155@tc.columbia.edu.

To request disability-related accommodations contact OASID at oasid@tc.edu, (212) 678-3689, (212) 678-3853 TTY, (646) 755-3144 video phone, as early as possible.




 9:30-10:00                  Registration

10:00-10:15                 Welcome

10:15-11:00                 Keynote Speaker, Dr. Radhika Iyengar

11:00-1:00                   Panel and discussion:  Early Childhood Development in South Asia  

1:00-2:00                      Lunch break (lunch provided)

2:00-4:30                      Panel and discussion:  Globalization and Education

5:00 onward                 Happy Hour at Amsterdam Cafe




Mary Ann Chacko is a 3rd year doctoral student in the Department of Curriculum & Teaching at Teachers College, Columbia University. Her dissertation examines the Student Police Cadet program implemented in government schools across Kerala, India with a focus on citizenship and schooling as well as school-community relations. Before joining TC she worked as a middle-school teacher and a teacher educator in India.


Saima Gowani is a doctoral student in the Curriculum and Teaching department at Teachers College, and a Graduate Research Fellow at National Center for Children and Families. Her research interests include looking at the economic and social benefits of early childhood education in international contexts. Before coming to Teachers College, she worked with the Aga Khan Foundation as a Monitoring and Evaluation Officer for the Foundation's education programs. She has worked and traveled in various countries in Asia and Africa, helping programs set up Education Management Information Systems (EMIS) to help programs make better decisions about the effectiveness of their interventions. She holds a Bachelors degree in Economics from the University of California at Berkeley, and a Masters in Education with a concentration in International Education Policy from Harvard. 


Dr. Amita Gupta is a Fulbright Scholar, an Associate Professor of Early Childhood Education at The City College of New York, and serves as Doctoral Faculty for the Urban Education Program at CUNY’s Graduate Center. Dr. Gupta has extensive cross-cultural experience in early childhood school administration, teacher and professional development, and classroom teaching in urban schools in both India and the U.S. She continues to consult for early childhood schools in India and the US, serving on school boards and designing and developing curriculum for early childhood centers. Dr. Gupta teaches graduate level courses in early childhood development on curriculum design, child development, social studies methods, and supervises student teachers in New York City schools. Her research interests are interdisciplinary and draw upon the fields of the history, philosophy and sociology of education; postcolonial theory; urban education; and international and comparative education. As a Fulbright Senior Research Scholar she conducted a multi-country examination of current directions in early education and teacher education policies in response to the effects of globalization in South Asia.


Shenila Khoja-Moolji is a faculty member in the Department of History and Philosophy at the State University of New York at Old Westbury, where she teaches courses on Muslim cultures, gender, humanities and interfaith relations. Her research interests include Muslim immigrant youth identity, gender and sexual citizenship, curriculum theory, and feminist poststructuralist theory. She is also pursuing her doctorate at Teachers College, Columbia University and serves as the Senior Co-Editor for the seventh volume of the Society for International Education journal on gender, sexuality and difference in education. Prior to Columbia University, Shenila attended the Divinity School at Harvard University where she graduated with a Master of Theological Studies focusing on Islamic studies and gender.


Dr. Radhika Iyengar is the Education Sector Director at the Earth Institute, Columbia University. Her academic research has focused on education for marginalized communities in India and has been featured in several academic journals. Radhika previously worked for Pratham in India and is currently the Program Chair of the South Asia Interest Group at the Comparative International Education Society. She holds a PhD in Economics of Education from Teachers College and a Master’s degree in Economics from the Delhi School of Economics.  Radhika founded DISHA while studying at Teachers College.


Leya Mathew is a 3rd year doctoral student in the Education, Culture, and Society program at the Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania. Her dissertation explores how educational policies, practices, and desires are being re-made in liberalizing Kerala, India. Before joining Penn, she worked in the film and TV industry in Mumbai and taught English to high schoolers in Pune. She combines her interests in filmmaking, research, and education at Penn CAMRA, a media pedagogy lab that she helped co-found.


Katie Maeve Murphy is a third-year PhD/MPH student at University of Pennsylvania in Interdisciplinary Studies in Human Development and is interested in ways to improve developmental, educational, and health outcomes for young children in low-income and impoverished settings. Recent research projects have included field visits and data collection in India, Thailand, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Mexico and Kenya. Before Penn, Katie was based at the Earth Institute at Columbia University as the Deputy Director of the Master's in Development Practice Secretariat, working with university partners around the world to launch cross-disciplinary training programs for practitioners in the field of sustainable development. Prior to working at the Earth Institute, Katie was the Education Manager for the International Rescue Committee in Chad, working with Darfurian refugees to build and improve educational and recreational programs for children and youth. Katie was also a health, sanitation, and education volunteer with the Peace Corps in El Salvador, where she lived in a rural community for 2 years working in education, health and income generation. While serving as a Peace Corps volunteer, Katie was also president of the Gender and Development (GAD) for El Salvador, leading the development of national youth leadership workshops and teacher trainings on gender, self-esteem and HIV/AIDS. Katie has a M.Ed. in International Education Policy from Harvard and a B.A. from Johns Hopkins University. She currently volunteers with the community of undocumented, Mexican women and children in South Philadelphia (with Puentes de Salud), is an Albert Schweitzer Fellow and a Paul D. Coverdell Peace Corps Fellow.


Sadaf Shallwani is an international early childhood and early education researcher and professional, focusing on young children, families, and the community and school contexts within which they exist. Her work in various Majority world contexts has strengthened her perspective that research and theory need to be grounded in context and socially relevant. Sadaf is currently a doctoral candidate studying Developmental Psychology & Education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto (Canada). Her dissertation examines the quality of early primary environments at government schools in Pakistan, and how these early learning environments affect young children’s educational experiences and outcomes. This is informing a contextually grounded conceptualization of transition and school readiness – ‘ready schools’ in particular – in Pakistan. Sadaf also currently leads the development and management of early childhood programs and resources in the Ismaili Muslim community in Canada, as well as leads a research team at the Institute of Child Study (University of Toronto) which is examining how early childhood curricula and policy documents address individual and social self-regulation. Visit Sadaf's website for more information: http://sadafshallwani.net.


Arushi Terway is a 2nd year doctoral student in the International Education Development program, concentrating on teacher management policy. Her dissertation topic will delve into the factors driving increased hiring of contract teachers in India. Before joining Teachers College, Arushi worked as a researcher and program manager for USAID funded education policy projects. Her research work involved comparative analysis of education management policies like decentralization, teacher education and management, school fee abolition, secondary education models and youth development. In her program management tasks, she concentrated on program implementation, and monitoring and evaluation.


When & Where

Grace Dodge Hall 281
Teachers College, Columbia University
525 W 120th St
New York, NY 10027

Saturday, April 6, 2013 from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM (EDT)

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DISHA (Development in South Asia); Co-Sponsored by the Teachers College Vice President’s Diversity and Community Initiatives Grant Fund and the Society for International Education at TC


  Contact the Organizer
Education in South Asia: Looking Beyond 2015
New York, NY Events Conference

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