Making Magic...

TitleMaking Magic...
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsRawal, S
Refereed DesignationRefereed
JournalEducational Journal of Living Theories
Start Page53
Date Published06/2014
Type of Articleliving educational theory

Sanskrit theatre suggests that Natya (a play) is an epitome of the entire cycle of existence. A striking characteristic is the absence of a tragic ending, derived from the belief that there is no place for tragedy in existence. The positive messages of Sanskrit theatre and Living Educational Theory research – asking questions of the type, ‘How do I improve my practice?’ – synchronise with the message of hope, which is important in the field of social work. I share my experiences in this paper, as I assumed the role of a mentor for grassroots social workers who support vulnerable children and adolescents in rural India. It is grounded in a dialogical enquiry based on a real-life experience and takes the form of a living-educational-theory, which developed as I, the writer, worked in the field of life skills enhancement. In this research conversation, which takes place between my students and me, we ask questions, explore and take an active role in our professional development. Most of the in-house trainings conducted in social work in India tend to be top-down, standardized and expert-driven. However, I believe to be proficient in ones practice one needs to learn from the bottom up not the top down and that pedagogy should be transformative. Thus, I embarked on a journey with my students on a process of transformation. Even though through this workshop I have tried to provide quality training and ongoing support to life skills instructors I do not suggest I have educated these individuals. I see myself as a living contradiction; I see the values I uphold sometimes denied by my smugness. I believe in this paper with the transformation of the trainees I, the mentor, have also transformed and this has contributed to my educational development.

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