Dr. Gayathri Deepak’s doctoral research in the field of Human Development was in the area of Curriculum and Cognitive Development, for which her thesis won critical acclaim from Indian as well as foreign examiners. She has worked in various roles including researcher, college lecturer, teacher, teacher trainer, academic advisor and whole school leader. She has worked with CIE International Curriculum for more than 15 years and is a consultant for schools with other curricula too. As a whole school leader,sheworked in a highly reputed international school in the Middle East, which is a CIE Centre offering the Cambridge International Programs from Years 1 to 13, a member school of CIS and is also accredited by NCA (formerly CITA, now Advanc-Ed). She chaired the committees for the CITA/NCA and CIS Self-Studies done by the school.
A global educator, Ms Maya Thiagarajan has taught in India, Singapore, and the US. She earned a BA in English from Middlebury College and a Master’s in Education Policy from Harvard University. Maya began her teaching career with Teach For America and then spent ten years teaching high school English at top private schools in the US. She later moved to Singapore, where she taught in the IB program at The United World College of South East Asia (UWC). Struck by the different approaches to education and parenting that she encountered in Asia, Maya began to interview Chinese and Indian parents living in Singapore. Using her own experiences as well as the stories of parents whom she interviewed, Maya wrote a highly acclaimed book titled Beyond the Tiger Mom: East-West Parenting for the Global Age. In addition to teaching and writing, Maya has conducted numerous teacher training workshops in Singapore and India. She speaks widely on education, and is a consultant and advisor to a number of schools. In 2017, she relocated to Chennai, India, to pursue her dream of starting a company that would help schools recruit, develop, and inspire teachers. She is currently the Founder and Education Director at TREE.
Ms Mallika believes that the depth of change, growth and fulfillment we bring in the lives of people around us is how deep these very things penetrate and happen within us. She considers it an honour that life has bestowed on her an opportunity to experience this around children. Her journey as an educator started 32 years ago, working with differently-abled children and their families. Working closely with them, she realized that all children have an innate potential and inherent motivation to learn, and have a right to an optimal learning space. This belief led her to work with administrators and teachers in rural, special, CBSE, ICSE and Cambridge Schools in the southern states of India, on policies and pedagogic practices. The objective was to ensure a secure, organic and material rich learning space for children. Realizing the importance of capacity building in teachers led her to focus on teacher-training and authoring chapters in a book published by Sage Publishers-“Within Walls Without Boundaries” and a book on “Understanding Best Inclusive Practices in Schools” by Seva-in-Action, and a Master Trainer Manual on “Promoting Reading” by IBM and The Promise Foundation.
As Trustee and Director of MIRRA Charitable Trust, an initiative “ABIVIDHI”, a collaborative eco-system of schools, NGOs, parents and professionals to make inclusion a reality was launched in Chennai. She worked with KFI and Chennai Corporation, and developed a Universal Curriculum for Primary, to meet the needs of every child in the class, irrespective of differences. She believes that when children are self-directed and learn through exploration and curiosity, they live what they have learnt and offer it freely with sensitivity and compassion to others.
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