The Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute, Harvard University partners with the Centre for Knowledge Alternatives, FLAME University to launch Project Pre-texts

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FLAME University

~ A project to implement and evaluate pedagogical intervention in schools

Pune, February 23, 2022FLAME University’s Centre for Knowledge Alternatives announces a research project on ‘Enhancing Reading and Learning Outcomes through Pre-Text Method in Schools’, in collaboration with The Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute, Harvard University. FLAME faculty members Prof. Yugank Goyal, Associate Professor of Public Policy, and Founding Director, Centre for Knowledge Alternatives at FLAME University, and Prof. Shivakumar Jolad, Associate Professor of Public Policy at FLAME University, will work with Prof. Doris Sommer, Ira Jewell Williams, Jr., Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures and of African and African American Studies, Harvard University, for this project.

Harvard University’s Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute has partnered with FLAME University in India for this project, along with the Cultural Agents Initiative in the US. Pre-Texts is a pedagogical intervention that uses art and performance to enhance reading interests and outcomes amongst students. It has been implemented in Latin America and Africa, where kids are being empowered with a newfound interest in reading and learning. The project will employ Pre-Texts in pilot schools in Pune (first time in India). The first part will be to train the teachers in this method, and then enable them to adopt it in their classrooms. Through several baseline and endline surveys, the project aims to evaluate the degree, level of improvements in learning outcomes in the schools. The study will also examine how has the intervention influenced a child’s cognitive capacities, their willingness to be proactive, engage in co-curricular pursuits, and explore an ecosystem that expands their curiosity. Scholars hope that in line with the evidence from other parts of the world, Pre-Text will encourage children to learn about themselves and the world, and be more attracted to read.

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Prof. Yugank Goyal, Associate Professor of Public Policy, and Founding Director, Centre for Knowledge Alternatives at FLAME University says, “There are two most interesting parts of this exploration, namely, the joy of infusing creativity in a classroom that has taken a backseat in the rote learning environment in our schools, as well as the potential it contains in scaling up, because every trained teacher becomes a trainer for another teacher.”

Prof. Doris Sommer, Ira Jewell Williams, Jr., Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures and of African and African American Studies, Harvard University says, “We have experienced what neuroscience has been trying to teach educators for over a decade: that pleasure is a driving force for learning. Therefore, socio-emotional development goes hand in hand with cognitive advances. Favoring one over the other, as often happens, limits development and can trigger depression.”

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About FLAME University:

FLAME University is the pioneer of liberal education in India, delivering the country’s premier interdisciplinary education experience. It is driven to being one of India’s most respected and reputed centres of learning – the premier destination of choice for higher education in the nation for learners and teachers, to push the design and nature of studies and to create a societal up-gradation phenomenon, particularly in the fields of liberal education and leadership. FLAME has been set up with an idealistic vision and a social commitment to contribute to society nobly. With more than 120 quality full-time faculty members, the university offers an unparalleled educational experience. The student-teacher ratio is 11:1, unmatched at the higher education level in India. Spread on 60 acres of green expanse with aesthetically designed infrastructure, and the campus currently consists of five schools: FLAME School of Liberal Education, FLAME School of Business, FLAME School of Communication, FLAME School of Computing and Data Sciences and FLAME School of Design, Art & Performance. FLAME University has been established as a state private university vide the FLAME University Act 2014 (Maharashtra Act No. II of 2015) of the Government of Maharashtra. It is recognized by the University Grants Commission (UGC) under Section 2(f), and degrees awarded by the University are recognized under Section 22 of the UGC Act, 1956.

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