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Vandana Saxena: Diversity Pedagogy Tribe: From 'I' to 'Us' Evolving Paradigm of Learning Together

Presentation Abstract

Spaces for democratic education in schools have significant nuances. The prevalent practices in schooling are dominantly informed by rigid practices. With schools working as agents of control for convincing people of all age groups that the ways of living are pre-fixed, the task of creating partnerships in the process of decision making will always be seen as detrimental to the agenda of dominance. Education as a process impacts and contributes to the inner growth of the individual; it is expected to be flexible and competent enough to provide wide-ranging experiences. Current curriculum and instructional problems, combined with the need to develop a literate scientific citizenry, create a special kind of dilemma for education.
When such systems claim to plan schooling processes to prepare adults for a democratic citizenship, it becomes essential to listen to the unheard voices. Throughout the long journey of school education, we need to realize the contribution of the student in the whole system. The diversity pedagogy tribe, is a team of people who have come together with a belief that students have the potential to plan for their own learning experiences and their partnership in the process of learning is essential to create an environment of optimizing potentials through self-learning processes. This requires re-envisioning the school ethos. A lot of thinking has gone into establishing that schools are not doing well for all children. But there is little to provide some directions on how to move towards participative pedagogical processes. The diversity pedagogy tribe has committed itself to collate the stories of inclusive as well as excluding life situations which familiarize all of us with the nuances of marginalization within the routine learning, and the factors or the belief patterns which create a position of disadvantage as the first step towards it to develop a deeper understanding of process of inclusion and exclusion while critically examining the stories of those who are spoken about as marginalized and not through the perceived position about their marginalization by others. In the past we have experienced that the stories of people by themselves are classically different from what others narrate based on their own assumptions. Grounded on the above conjectures the diversity pedagogy tribe is attempting to bring home the people’s story as they know it and share it with others. The foundational purpose here is to break through the inertia of others about self and let others reflect upon their own belief systems to question their own stereotypes.