Being an ELTReP ( English Language Teaching Research Partnership) Awardee from the British Council for 2013 – 14, enabled me to be invited to a very well organised conference in Delhi titled Connecting Classrooms early this month.
I found myself in a room full of teacher educators all interested and working closely with language teaching but also drawn/ invited to the Conference because of an interest in Action Research, matters of Inclusion and pedagogy of language teaching.
I was on an interesting panel moderated by John Shakelton of the British Council, Delhi office and was honored to share the research talk space with Miso Prova Bohra of SCERT, Assam.
As I reflect on my work with English Literacy and a present Reading Research Study I am leading in Goa, I often wonder why we work in silos and why we do not have a more active collaborative research space in this country ?
The language and literacy dilemmas that appear to impact Assam are so akin to Goa and possibly even more complex due the the presence of a far greater number of home languages, and if we start talking together we can all strengthen our collective understanding to move forward.
I think it is with this greater intent that the British Council in India organises such forums and spaces for educators to interact and share their learnings and experiences.
The closing session of the Conference by Andy Buck on School Leadership was a most refreshing reminder of what is important in school education today and what are the menu options that educators can choose to order into their school practice.
As one accommodates more and more ideas and understanding about teaching and learning, some of the earlier acquired understanding falls through the cracks and for me sitting in the audience listening to Andy Buck, I was jolted back to good principles that make the culture and climate of effective school practice. I was reminded about Dialogic Teaching that we use much of in our work at Bookworm, the possible opportunity for learning that can come by looking at Flipped Classrooms a little differently. The notion of Cultural Capital that again underlies our philosophy of work at Bookworm and for me a new area to think , read and learn from was Joint Practice Development.
As the curtain closed on Connecting Classrooms, another one opened for me, reminding me that action research, reflective engagement with theory , networking with other educators and sharing our learnings can be powerful energisers to grow and learn.