How I Innovate: Re-Thinking Education and the Colonial Construction

ImageToday’s post comes from up and coming innovator, William Lodge.  William is a recent graduate of Brandeis University.  His studies and research are primarily based on time he spent living and studying in India at Jawaharlal Nehru University.  He is am currently a M.S. Education candidate at UPenn GSE with a concentration in International Educational Development.

Ed to Save the World: What ways of thinking help you to innovate? 

 William Lodge: As a graduate student in International Educational Development, I am interested in the ways colonialism affects developing nations’ education system – particularly in India. My main focus is to apply post-colonial theory– a theory that deals with the colonial aftermath of an oppressed country through a modern perspective — to a tangible and active, developing educational system. By applying theory to India’s educational system, it will reduce and construe the obscurity of post–colonial theory. There is a trend in post-colonial academia to overcomplicate the theory in order to abstract reality, which then allows scholars to have conversations discussing the complexity of colonialism.  This abstraction removes the people within these developing nations, which creates a schism between theory and practice.

Ed to Save: How do you approach innovation?

WL: As innovators we can imagine multiple ways of implementing change; however, if we deny the public from participating in these dialogues, our efforts will never materialize. It is important to create a theoretical framework that can be used to initiate conversations that will put international education policy at the forefront. These discussions will combine theory and practice, therefore fabricating a network of theorist and policymakers that will establish an Indian education system where education is democraticizing and accessible to all, regardless of socio-economic class, gender or religion.

Ed to Save: How do you go about making a difference?

WL: Sustainability is the most important aspect in education development. In order to make a difference, we have to consider the long-term effects of the policies we create for the people of that particular nation. I innovate educational strategies by generating active conversations between post – colonial theory and the nation in which the theory applies. I believe this dialogue is essential to establish an education system that is pertinent, and appropriate for the people, which will ultimately sustain the well-being of the Indian nationhood.

Thank you William!  I have to gush a little and say I have known William since he was a freshman in high school and am so proud of his amazing work.  We can’t wait to see what he does next!

What stages of our framework do you see in William’s post? Stage 3 definitely jumps out at me (conceptual framework = post-colonial theory)!

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Categories: Innovation Series

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