Dr. Margaret Solomon, Professor of Administration and Leadership, School of Education
On December 12, Dr. Margaret Solomon returned from a four-month Fulbright Scholarship project in India aimed at educating the country’s so-called ‘untouchables,’ slum children who frequently do not attend school or complete primary education.
On December 12, Dr. Margaret Solomon returned from a four-month Fulbright Scholarship project in India aimed at educating the country’s so-called ‘untouchables,’ slum children who frequently do not attend school or complete primary education. Using a ‘systems’ approach, she first instructed educators of teachers, then principals and finally teachers. She held lectures for teachers at Lowry Memorial College near Bangalore and at Spicer Memorial College in Pune, both SDA schools. And she spoke to teachers in some of India’s public schools. All told, she held 51 lectures, including chapel talks.
Her lectures included those on brain research and the science of learning, and on literacy strategies that help students to understand what they read in the textbooks and help process the concepts presented there. Teachers also learned to organize their content as procedural knowledge and content knowledge and learned appropriate techniques to teach those knowledge types. She also interviewed and observed teachers, administrators and students and collected qualitative research data in case studies of schools. She visited families living in India’s slums and she learned about India’s “Education for All” policy which is similar to the U.S. government’s “No Child Left Behind.” However India’s teachers greatly lack resources in implementing the program, she said.
Dr. Solomon’s ultimate, long-term goal is to create a movement of professional learning communities comprised of teachers and educators of teachers toward achieving educational justice for India’s slum children. The process has just begun. Recently she was invited by the International Institute of Education to apply for the New Leaders Group Award for Mutual Understanding to further her Fulbright project. She has sent a proposal titled “Project Empowering Slum Children” and hopes to take the next steps to improve their education.