For Gita Steiner-Khamsi, 1995 was a whirlwind 12 months stuffed with successes and new beginnings. It was the 12 months she started her educating profession at Academics School, but additionally the 12 months she moved from Switzerland to the US.
Now nearly 28 years later, Steiner-Khamsi, Professor of Schooling at Academics School, was just lately named the primary Chair in Comparative Schooling Coverage for the United Nations Instructional, Scientific and Cultural Group (UNESCO). The chair is hosted by the Graduate Institute of Worldwide and Improvement Research in Geneva, Switzerland.
It is an honor, shared Steiner-Khamsi, who acquired the glory for her transformative work whereas educating comparative training research on a part-time foundation whereas on secondment from TC on the Graduate Institute in Geneva. This function will permit me to proceed to strengthen my relationship with Geneva and collaborate with different researchers world wide. UNESCO opens doorways with governments worldwide. Having this entry level is vital to comparative coverage research. It was a match made in heaven.”
We sat down with Steiner-Khamsi to speak about her thrilling new growth:
Congratulations in your appointment as a UNESCO Chair in Comparative Schooling Coverage. Are you able to clarify why this function is so crucial?
SK:The function is crucial as a result of it was created to boost, show and improve training coverage experience, particularly in low-income and aid-dependent international locations of the International South. We hope to determine faculty reform research analysis and educating in graduate faculties of training within the International South. This can assist mitigate the reliance on worldwide consultants who presently perform faculty reform planning and evaluations on behalf of worldwide actors such because the International Partnership for Schooling, UNICEF and the World Financial institution.
One other key goal of the Chair is to streamline and extra successfully talk coverage analysis within the International South by way of coverage briefs, movies, podcasts and different varieties of communication merchandise.
What does this function imply to you as an educator and researcher? What actions will you’re taking as President?
SK:There are numerous issues that excite me concerning the function. As an educator, I do know that there’s a actual demand for training coverage research worldwide. In most international locations, postgraduate faculties of training focus solely on instructor training and the preparation of faculty leaders. There’s a sturdy demand for techniques pondering, culturally delicate faculty reforms and capability constructing within the space of coverage evaluation. I am stunned nobody has taken benefit of this demand already. I look ahead to shifting graduate faculties within the course of providing a complete education-related program.
As a researcher who labored within the Analysis and Improvement unit of the Ministry of Schooling within the canton of Zurich (Switzerland) for nearly ten years, I’m prepared to make use of my expertise to professionalize the sector of training coverage research worldwide. Mobilizing coverage reform requires deep understanding and cautious evaluation. What is required to implement the change? Additional, what are the resistances in opposition to the reform and Why? What’s the function of civil society in demanding and sustaining change? I wish to work to beat these challenges on a worldwide scale.
How does your function intersect together with your work at Academics School?
SK: There’s a sturdy connection between the work I do in TC and the work I hope to do with UNESCO. Actually, I’ve already crossed paths with different members of the TC neighborhood right here in Geneva. UNESCO’s present Co-President, Chanwoong Baek (MA 20), is a TC alumnus and Assistant Professor of Comparative and Worldwide Schooling on the Institute. It is good as a result of we will collaborate on initiatives in TC and vice versa.
As a Professor in TCs Worldwide and Comparative Schooling program, I’ve realized that there’s a lot demand and curiosity in training coverage reform. A lot of my college students hope to take what they be taught in my class and translate it into reforms and teachings after they return to their international locations. I attempt to deliver TC to the world and the world to TC.
It is vitally thrilling to function Co-Chair and to work with Gita, who has intensive expertise and experience in comparative training coverage. I’ve labored with Gita in many alternative capacities and have all the time been impressed and impressed by her ardour, curiosity for information and demanding pondering. Her work on coverage switch and globalization has made essential theoretical contributions to the sector. These contributions, mixed together with her enduring dedication to the professionalization of comparative and worldwide training, make Gita a great candidate for the UNESCO Chair in Comparative Schooling Coverage.
Much more importantly, the work I will likely be doing as President of UNESCO is professional bono. Her humanitarian work. It’s about strengthening and supporting undergraduate establishments in different international locations the place I can. Our UNESCO occasions are all the time hybrid (in individual and Zoom) and bilingual and multilingual as a result of we wish individuals to take part. This function can assist TC proceed to construct international training coverage companions world wide.
Discuss concerning the UNESCO occasion in collaboration with TK that can happen on March 30. What can we predict and count on to remove from this particular occasion?
SK:It’s a world symposium entitled Ambedkar, Dewey, and the Evolution of Pragmatism in India. The keynote speaker is Scott R. Stroud, College of Texas at Austin, who printed a e book on the symposium’s title. It is going to be a collaborative occasion with Academics School and the UNESCO Headquarters/Geneva Graduate Institute, which is thrilling. The symposium is especially particular as a result of it was initiated by a present pupil in TCs Worldwide and Comparative Schooling program, Vikas Tadad (MA 23).
We can have a keynote speaker and a panel of audio system that I’ll reasonable. Vikas may even converse as one of many panelists on the occasion. We invited human rights activists, organizations and universities to take part, in addition to the complete TC neighborhood. I can not wait to see everybody come collectively for such a robust trigger!
Extra importantly, the symposium is crucial as a result of it focuses on the bigger agenda of decolonizing the mental custom by bringing Dr. BR Ambedkar, considered one of India’s most notable philosophers and anti-caste reformers, in dialog with the American pragmatist, John Dewey. Ambedkar was a pupil of Dewey at Columbia College and later led the civil rights motion for the untouchables and have become the primary architect of the Indian structure.
In gentle of the continuing anti-caste battle in the US, we hope that this international occasion will spark a dialogue that can educate the Western public concerning the criticality of caste and the Ambedkars’ democratic method to imagining societies freed from race-caste-gender oppression.