PROJECT LAUNCH – South India: Writings on the Wall

We are thrilled to announce the launch of theWritings on the Wall, the collaborative website created by our incredible South India: Education for All workshop students. On all of our workshops, our students create a project that has practical applications AND shares our findings/experience with the world.

This website does both.

We believe the site, a multimedia journey through the classrooms of South India, stands on its own (CHECK IT OUT: so we will let you discover it for yourselves, but we wanted to say a few things about the process…

How We Did It: Collaboration At All Levels

workin in tisssas innOur team arrived in South India with many questions, and an eagerness to learn about the country and the different areas we visited through our focus on education. Throughout the trip, we intentionally left our process open to collaboration. After each site visit, we talked about what we had seen, who we had spoken to, and what we had learned. We shaped this project,Writings on the Wall, through spirited discussions as a group about HOW to present our journey and conversations to a number of different audiences. We also wanted to include as many voices as possible in the project: the writing on the website is original student writing. Each team member contributed photography and writing. We created our site in WordPress, and taught everyone how to edit and post content – so each person has also contributed to the layout and design of our posts.

Opening A Conversation

At some of the schools we visited, teachers and administrators asked us our opinion of their school—how did it compare to schools in the US? There is certainly always a temptation to act as an expert, to return from a trip to India and say, THIS is what education in South India looks like…THIS was a good school, THESE are the challenges students face…

r chats at choice schoolWe believe it is to the credit of our group that they have chosen to move away from this type of limiting narrative, to create a storytelling project that has room for different voices, perspectives, and questions.

We are not experts on education in South India—and though everyone in our group brought valuable insights and perspectives, even the most comprehensive study of schools in South India would still be but a cursory survey. Our group made connections, rather than conclusions—they made friends, they shared perspectives, and upon their return, they have chosen to begin a conversation. We could not be more excited to share this project with you.

Our Team, Our Partners

We are grateful to the schools who so graciously opened their doors and classrooms to us, and offered us the incredible opportunity to get to know their students, observe their schools, and ask as many questions as we wanted. We were also fortunate in that we were able to work with a number of incredible NGOs (non-governmental organizations). There is information about our partners—including contact information for them if you’d like to learn more (and we hope you do!)—on our partners page on the Writings on the Wall site.

Lastly, we are proud of our team! It was both FUN and inspiring to work with them all. You can learn a bit more about the creative minds behind this project here.

– Adam and Jenny

this tree is so cool