Tiffin Talk: Muskaan's keys to unlock educational disadvantage for children from the slum communities of Bhopal, India

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20 June 2013 12:45 pm

Muskaan is an NGO working in nine of the most highly vulnerable, marginalised slum communities in Bhopal, India. The presentation promotes Muskaan school’s development and implementation of an effective model of education for children from the slum communities, drawing parallels with the six Principles of Learning and Teaching (PoLT) incorporated in Victoria’s Government Schools Flagship strategy.

The Muskaan model implements similar PoLT strategies (in line with best educational practice) and successfully engages children from slum communities, through the provision of a contextually relevant and meaningful curriculum. These children would have otherwise dropped out of the education system. A supportive learning environment also provides the protective factors which help buffer these children against hardship and adversity, building resilience, responsibility and empowerment.

The presentation explores what constitutes effective teaching practice and the teacher’s role in creating a learning environment most conducive to meeting these slum communities' needs. The Muskaan model of educational delivery, in line with PoLT, holds the keys to unlock educational disadvantage. The mobilisation of this model across similar Indian slum communities, has the potential to bridge inequality and close the gap for India’s urban poor.

About the Speaker :

Marion Hadingham is a skilled and highly experienced teacher with qualifications across Primary Teaching, Special Education and Adolescent Health and Welfare at the University of Melbourne. She has enjoyed 18 years teaching at Heatherwood School, Donvale, as classroom teacher, Student Welfare Co-ordinator and Literacy specialist teacher. She has been a volunteer English teacher at Neuhof School, Mizoram India, New Future for Children Orphanage, Cambodia and at Muskaan, an innovative school for children from the slums of Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India. Marion has also volunteered at Foundation House, Brunswick teaching English to refugees. Following retirement, along with her husband Kevin, she has founded a Melbourne based charity, Muskaan Support Australia Inc. The charity aims to increase awareness and understanding of the circumstances of poverty and disadvantage in Bhopal; to promote the innovative programs of Muskaan; and to raise funds toward construction of a permanent school campus. Marion is a passionate advocate for Muskaan School. She enjoys writing and illustrating children’s picture books and plans to write contextually-relevant graded stories for Muskaan.

Read a transcript of the event here