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College of Education and Human Development at The University of Texas at San Antonio Online Magazine

SAWP summer destination: Haridwar, India

SAWP summer destination: Haridwar, India
Photo courtsey of Dr. Roxanne Henkin

Members from the San Antonio Writing Project (SAWP), which is housed in the College of Education and Human Development’s (COEHD) Department of Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching, traveled to Haridwar, Uttarakhand in Northern India this summer to establish the Haridwar Writing Project (HWP).

Dr. Kalpana Iyengar, COEHD alumna and co-director of the Kahani Project, Dr. Roxanne Henkin, professor and director of SAWP, Dean Betty Merchant, and SAWP Teacher Consultant and Ph.D. candidate Thomas Porter will work with 25 teachers from rural communities at Dev Sanskriti Vishwavidyalaya (DSVV), a Hindu university in Haridwar.

“My ultimate goal for this trip was to build a partnership with the universities in India so that we can offer professional development for teachers in India,” said Iyengar.

As part of the HWP at DSVV, the teachers and university students worked with the SAWP staff to develop the pedagogical skills necessary to become better writing teachers across the curriculum.

“I wanted to take the writing project to a rural area, because these teachers teach students in schools where there is not even access to electricity and safe drinking water,” said Iyengar. “Each one of the teachers that we worked with help educate 200 students at a time, so even if we taught five teachers, imagine how many students we were able to reach.”

This is the second site network established by SAWP outside of the United States and the first one in India. The first site network, the Limpopo Writing Project, has been providing professional development to teachers in Limpopo, South Africa since its establishment in 2009.

“Through the Haridwar Writing Project, I wanted the teachers and university personnel in India to know that SAWP teacher consultants, directors, co-directors, and the dean from UTSA were willing to reach out and come across the globe to provide professional development,” said Iyengar. “Dean Merchant traveled to Haridwar to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with DSVV so a sustained, professional relationship was established between the universities to benefit students and researchers.”


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