Thursday, February 25, 2010

Reflection from Riverside

I'm thankful for the 10 day residency I did at Riverside, as it helped me unlearn some of my assumptions of what education is and reminded me of my love for little kids.
In the picture above you see parents opening up with their parenting challenges and sharing strategies through line repetition, role play, forum theatre and dialogue. After the workshop parents voiced their appreciation for the nonjudgmental space to connect with other parents about the struggles and joys of parenting pre-teens.

I facilitated 3 Professional Development workshops for teachers around integrating drama into the curriculum and creative participatory assessment using the Studio Habits of Mind. See the teachers doing Image Theatre during the workshop(below).
The democratic pedagogy and civic engagement at Riverside is drawing a lot of attention, because the students are creative, socially aware and academically out performing students from top elite schools in India. See the students speak in this Design for Giving video

Monday, February 15, 2010

Residency at Riverside

Today was my first day on Residency at the Riverside School in Ahmadabad. Founded by Kiran Sethi who I met at Harvard's Project Zero where we were both Faculty Fellows last summer.(see blog post) When I arrived 2 second grade students gave me an impressive tour of the beautiful school. Check out Kiran's TEDIndia Talk below.

In the TED talk above Kiran speaks about aProCh, a protagonist in everychild, which is a student initiated project to make the city more child-friendly. From what I've seen so far, I'm inspired by the liberatory nature of the education at Riverside.

I'm working with a small group of 9th grade students today to adopt 2 cases from the Design for Giving Contest into inspirational narratives to be published in a textbook that will be used in 120 schools. With the first and second grade students, we're doing drama games about animal adaptation and environmental stewardship. I'm also doing a Hop Theatre workshop series investigating the nature of conflict and violence with fifth and sixth grade students.

For Teachers I'll do a few professional development sessions about student centered assessment using the Studio Habits of Mind and Drama as a tool for Critical Literacy.
"For centuries we have been conditioned by nationality, caste, class, tradition, religion, language, education, literature, art, custom, convention, propaganda of all kinds, economic pressure, the food we eat, the climate we live in, our family, our friends, our experiences—every influence you can think of—and, therefore, our responses to every problem are conditioned. Are you aware that you are conditioned? That is the first thing to ask yourself, not how to be free of your conditioning. You may never be free of it, and if you say, 'I must be free of it', you may fall into another trap of another form of conditioning. So are you aware that you are conditioned?"
Jiddu Krishnamurti
Freedom from the Known, p 25
1969, HarperSanFrancisco

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Creative Consciousness in the Classroom

Today I facilitated the first session of a 3 part professional development workshop series for the teachers at in Vidyaranya High School in Hyderabad. Creative Consciousness in the Classroom is the title for the series and the teachers exhibited just that. Through Drama, Poetry and Dance the educators personified their ideal classroom and designed projects to help bring their ideals into reality. The philosophy of this school is quite innovative(as I wrote in my post from last year, when I did a workshop here with the 8th graders).
"All that we can do is to see that the mind is conditioned and, through self-knowledge, to understand the process of our own thinking."
Jiddu Krishnamurti, The Collected Works vol IX, p 114
The Answer is in the Problem, 1991, Kendall/Hunt Publishing

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Stonehill International School

Maitri and I facilitated a 3 day workshop series with the 9th grade students at Stonehill. The school is big, new, and full of expats. We instigated drama activities to develop their classroom community and finished with a "clearing the air" discussion in which students spoke honestly about how they see eachother. (no pics for student confidentiality)
It was a pleasure to co-facilitate with Maitri. She connected well with the teenagers and of course she has refined skills in Drama Therapy. We graduated together from the Drama Therapy program at CIIS in 2008. (pictured below)