A Beautiful Prayer to Sarasvati

    My favorite Indian goddess has always been Sarasvati.  Sarasvati is the Goddess of Knowledge, Education and Music.  She usually wears white and sits on a white lotus with a white swan, all representing purity.  She usually has four arms, one or two playing her musical instrument and the other arms holding a book,…

My Final Report

For those who are interested in Student Centered Learning in Colleges, please read my Final Report.  This has been shared with faculty and administrators at the colleges where I offered trainings.  This report contains recommendations for future implementation.  Thanks again to all the wonderful staff, faculty and administrators who supported my work! Final Report- C…

Optimism/Pessimism: The SeeSaw of Higher Education in India

As I continue my trainings on “Student Centered Learning”, I find myself swaying in many directions.  Some days I’m totally optimistic as I connect and listen and share with young Indian faculty, who are so bright, enthusiastic, and dedicated to their work as teachers.  They are very open to new ideas, so hungry for real…

Necessary Humility

As I continue my Student Centered Learning trainings, I am realizing more and more that the methods I’m teaching faculty do not fully address the classroom barriers they face.  A trainer needs to be flexible- and I’m learning how to adapt my training almost every day with new approaches, tips and handouts.  It’s humbling.  This…

Community Organizer Training

I was asked to speak to a group of first year social work students today about working with groups in poor Indian communities.  I asked them to role play a group of village women upset by boys harassing their daughters on the street.  The students agreed this was a common problem for women, and almost…

Religion in India- pros and cons!

I’m developing a new respect for the role of religion in India, in spite of the terrible misuse of religion among fundamentalists.   In India, we have a current federal government that plays with fundamentalism to get votes.  Various leaders promote Hinduism as the national religion and push for policies that favor Hinduism over Islam, Christianity,…

Centuries of History at WCC

I was entranced by the history of Women’s Christian College and its oldest building- dating back to circa 1798!  Doveton House, the college’s administration building, was built by one Benjamin Roebuck and occupied by a high ranking officer in the Madras Cavalry of the East India Company.  (Can you imagine Netflix or Google having it’s…

Women’s Christian College: Open to Change!

I was really impressed with the response I got from 40 women faculty this week at Women’s Christian College during my Student Centered Teaching training.  Almost all disciplines at the college were represented and participation was high, enthusiastic, creative and engaged.  They were hungry and open to new ideas for teaching, new ways of both…

Education, a Path to Success

Education in India can be a clear path to new lives for rural folk.  Families make great sacrifices to help their children get an education.  The faculty I met in Villapuram, many of whom have come from agricultural families, had very touching stories to tell. I asked faculty to interview each other and then share…