Templates for Peace: A Handbook on Multiculturalism and Non-Violence

 –  A Consultation with Educators

26th JUNE 2014, New Delhi

As part of the Hum Kadam: Education for Peace initiative, a Consultation was held with school educators in order to get inputs and comments from them on a forthcoming handbook Templates for Peace: Multiculturalism and Non-Violence. The handbook is being published by WISCOMP and is designed for use at the high school level. It owes its genesis to the trainings that WISCOMP organized in Delhi and Srinagar over the two years (between 2012-14) as part of the Hum Kadam: Education for Peace initiative.

The Consultation was organized to get inputs and comments on the handbook from 20 expert ‘end users’ from schools in NCR and Kashmir who are partners in the Hum Kadam initiative. WISCOMP was not only keen to get feedback on the themes, age appropriateness of the activities, time allocated and the format of achieving the objectives but also some more fundamental concerns about the hurdles that could be anticipated in using / adopting the material at the schools. In order to optimize the limited time with the participants during the Consultation a list of questions for consideration was circulated in advance for assessing the material. The feedback from the educators from this consultation was used to refine the handbook and add new material.

Aas Pass ki Khoj: Methodologies for Heritage Education – A Workshop

25th– 26th AUGUST 2014, Srinagar

Two day-long workshops titled Aas Pass ki Khoj: Methodologies for Heritage Education were organized as part of the Hum Kadam: Education for Peace Initiative with a view to provide educators space for discussing issues of diversity and difference. These introductory workshops were a first-of-a-kind and aimed to offer an alternative perspective to the school teachers who are engaged in teaching social sciences and literature.

53 participants attended the workshop at the two venues – Government College of Education, Srinagar and Delhi Public School, Srinagar. The participants were encouraged to know the importance and the various methods of heritage conservation so as to inculcate in the younger generation a sense of ownership and respect for their heritage.

The workshops drew on the National Curriculum Framework (NCF) 2005 that has served as a guide for evolving a national system of education to realize the democratic vision enshrined in the Indian Constitution. It sought to bring in an integrated approach to teaching about heritage, which involves weaving heritage education into the curriculum instead of seeing heritage conservation as an extracurricular activity.

From Transmission to Transformative Learning – A Workshop

9th – 10th December 2014, Srinagar

The WISCOMP workshop “From Transmission to Transformative Learning” was organized for pre-service and in-service teachers in Kashmir with the objective of examining how they can improve the learning outcomes as well as environment for their students . The need for such workshops was expressed by stakeholders from Jammu and Kashmir and National Capital Region at a roundtable in January 2013 in New Delhi. The participants had pointed out that the B.Ed. programs and curriculum provide the required subject knowledge and fundamental understanding of child psychology and development, but did not prepare the teacher for the entire gamut of challenges that the teaching-learning process unveils in the classroom.

The workshop used an interactive format and introduced the participants to innovative pedagogies that mobilize art, drama and narrative for therapeutic and educational ends. Several sessions also focussed on self-awareness and identity and cross-curricular teaching.

In their feedback the participants shared that they felt optimistic about applying the learnings from the workshop into their personal and professional lives. Many also expressed that the workshop convinced them about the need to improve relations with their colleagues, work collaboratively and reinforced the importance of creating a safe environment for children in the school.