Making Magic - - final submission accepted for publication for June 2014 issue
Hi Swaroop - your title fascinated me and I wanted to pop in and take a look, but I can't find an attachment?
(Edited by Marie Huxtable - original submission Wednesday, 20 November 2013, 10:10 AM)
Thanks for the notifications. I'm now away for four days, but Swaroop will take a look at your paper early next week. What an intriguing title - am looking forward to it!
I read your paper yesterday, and as I had intuited from the title, loved it. I see Jack has subsequently posted feedback, and picked up some of the same points as I have. I really enjoyed your weaving together of Indian approaches with critical self-reflection, and the honesty in your acknowledgement that sometimes you can be smug (I guess that goes for all of us!)
To me, the paper was permeated with passion and the kind of dedication to sound educational practice that I would hope submitters to this journal - and its readers - would expect of themselves and others. If you have never read the U.S. writer Parker J Palmer, I think you would enjoy his work. In one of his books, "The Courage to Teach", he talks about 'teaching from a heart of love' and I think this shines through your work.
Last year I supervised the work of a local social work educator. Like you, she used drama in her attempts to get social work students to grasp the importance of and to synthesise learning in the programme. She set up a 'mock court' with actual lawyers, police, a judge and other interested parties, and students had to represent 'a client' in a simulation of the kinds of advocacy they will need to apply when they're practising social workers. She said the learning was very powerful - she has submitted the paper to a social work journal or book, unclear which, but it's not been published yet. If I remember, when it comes out, I could send you the link. It's great to see people using drama as another teaching tool to help students learn.
All the best with the ongoing work on the paper, and I look forward to seeing it in its published version.
Pip (not a formal reviewer!)
Thanks for taking the trouble to write your comments, especially seeing that you are not the formal reviewer. I really , really appreciate this gesture of yours.
I will get the book you have suggested and read it. I would also like to read the paper you are talking about. It is wonderful to interact with like-minded people. It adds a dynamic force to your values and makes you believe in yourself.
Dear Swaroop, I have enjoyed reading the paper you have submitted to EJOLTs on ‘Making Magic’ and as one of the reviewers I am recommending it for publication. I particularly liked the original synthesis of ideas and practices from Sanskrit theatre, drama, Indian tradition, social work, pedagogy, action research and living-educational-theory with a focus on enhancing the educational and life-experience of vulnerable children. I also appreciated the way that you located the enquiry in relation to the “Child Rights for Change” project in Maharashtra and Gujarat. This enabled me to appreciate your engagement and explanations of your educational influences in the learning of social formations as well as your influence in your own learning and in the learning of others.
You also have a talent for integrating the ideas of others within the evolution of your own living-educational-theory. You have done this in a way that demonstrates a valuing of traditional scholarship with a respect for acknowledging the value of the ideas of others with the expression of your own critical and creative responses in the evolution of your own living-theory. Very impressive.
There are a few minor amendments that I could help with later. I’d add the following to your Glossary:
Drama in Education (DIE)
Training of Trainers (TOT)
Life Skills through Drama (LED)
There are several small typographical amendments that I could make in a later proof reading of the paper.
Here is something to think about either as an addition to the paper and/or for your future enquiries that is focused on the question ‘who is this lady?’
Their escort asked me “who is this lady? She is playing with them as
if she is as old as they are!
After the 2 days the children practically refused to go back home. One of their guardians remarked that they have never received so much love or respect in their lives. I pointed out to the facilitators that I had conducted a successful workshop with the children in spite of us being strangers to each other. Whereas they work with children they meet on regular basis. Additionally, my sessions were daylong and their sessions are only for an hour or two at the most. If they could observe change in behaviour in 2 days, which they did, imagine what we can do in a year or two!”
I believe that the ‘Making Magic’ you focus on is closely related to the embodied expressions of your ‘relational’ ontological values, the values you express in giving life meaning and purpose. I believe that some video of you with the children and/or colleagues would communicate clearly to your readers these embodied expressions of your relational values. We could perhaps chat about this as it would be easy to insert at the beginning of your paper a video of you working with a couple of paragraphs in the text to highlight the existential expressions in ‘Making Magic’.
I want to stress that this is not a requirement in my recommendation that your paper is accepted for publication in EJOLTs – it is just a contribution to our ongoing educational conversation.
Thank You. I truly value your comments. As usual directly or indirectly (through your writing for example) you continue to push me forward.
I will check my typos… I have a great problem with that as my mind is always ahead of my writing! And sometimes what is in my mind I read whether it is written or not!
I liked the idea of the video. I am going to call the Save the Children people and see if they have a video, I don’t remember us shooting one. But all the same. I will also try to see if there are photographs.
You say….Here is something to think about either as an addition to the paper and/or for your future enquiries that is focused on the question ‘who is this lady?’…I never thought of this idea. I always teach through the heart with extreme passion and naively think everyone teaches like this. Recently at the drama workshop I noticed a good teacher who was brought up in a Gandhian educational setup; who teaches through Gandhian philosophy be extremely mean to a small child. I was shocked. That was when I realized I am carrying out something special in the way I teach. And that I need to support and reinforce young teachers who believe in similar values. More about this later…
Thanks again, will look into all the comments and suggestions.
I have enjoyed reading your wonderful paper! As this is my firs "job" as an official reviewer I want a little more time to consider my response to you, but you will have it in a few days! I absolutely recommend it for publication, but maybe with some minor revisions. Please be patient:-)
Dear Swaroop, as one of the reviewers for your paper I agree with Jackthat this is definitely a publishable paper for EJOLTS. I really appreciate the extremely important work that is carried out with and for the vulnerable children and the social workers in your region in India. I love your artistic approach, both as method of working, doing research and writing. Documenting action research in a way that reveals some of its “life” is hard and you show a creative way of revealing what was done and what was experienced. When that is said, I have some questions; it is not clear to me how data was collected, and I don’t always follow the story. When are you in a play and when are you referring to reflections on the play? I have given a couple of examples of places where I get confused in the text. Even if it might in some way disturb the artistic logic of the documentation, I as a reader need some more guidance to the text. I also believe that some of your wonderful pictures, if you don’thave video from the process, would add even more life and color to the story.
At the end of the paper I wonder if it would be possible to sum up the most important lessons learned from your research – lessons that could enrich other social workers’ and researchers’ work with and for vulnerable children, others wanting to use drama as a method in action research..It seems like you managed something remarkable when hostility and tension was turned enthusiasm and empowerment during the workshop (in page 7).Introducing new ways of teaching, learning, working and doing research is important in order to bring about change. You managed to overcome resistance. This might be lifted up at the end of your paper.
I leave the typographical amendments mainly to Jack, as English is not my first language :-).
Dear Jack and Sigrid,
I have made the changes recommended by you.
I have also added photographs of my workshops. I also tried to get video recordings of the proceedings and after great effort I managed to get one CD.
Save the Children, Gujarat had video-recorded the first 7 day workshop and had hours and hours of recording. However, they had to close their Gujarat office last year. And when they did in rush they erased all the data! We managed to find one hour recording with the person who had videoed the workshop.
I am trying to edit it BUT the formatting is messed up. That is so sad considering it is the first day’s work and there are sooooo many segments which are equal to what I am trying to express in the paper. I have not given up…Still trying…maybe I will succeed.
Dear Swaroop, here are Sigrid's responses with which Sigrid is recommending publication of your paper in EJOLTS
I find that the pictures makes the article come alive in a new way. Swaroop has accounted for how she collected and used her data, and she has made it clear where she is staging the play and where she is reflecting. So she has attended to the major concerns. The article is original, the theme extremely important and she really adds new knowledge to the field of social work/pedagogical work amongst vulnerable children – clearly showing HOPE and LOVE.
On 30 Jan 2014, at 16:55, Jack Whitehead <email@example.com> wrote:
My own responses include the points made by Sigrid that you have responded to our concerns and resubmitted your paper in a form that we can now both recommend for publication in EJOLTS.
I engaged particularly with the new understandings your writings promoted in relation to Sanskrit Theatre and spiritual understandings within a Hindu context. I also found significant the way your living boundaries included insights from both Western and Indian cultures with your passion to make a difference to the lives of the most vulnerable children in India. You also clearly related insights from research from international agencies into the creation of your own living-educational-theory. A most enjoyable and educational read. My thanks. There are a few typographical errors which I'll correct when proof-reading.
Dear Jack and Sigrid,
At the onset I must say that your initial concerns compelled me to have a re-look my work and thoughts. I believe when one acknowledges criticism /evaluation with an open mind one can move in a positive direction. Your queries made me question my paper and re-work it. In that, I believe I became clearer and more accurate and could thus re-submit a more effective thought process. I thank you for the same.
Yes, I do agree with you that with the additions of the photographs my paper suddenly has become alive.
I wish I could add the video ...even though it is short it has captured the essence of my working style and my philosophy that learning experiences ought to be liberating ones and that Child Rights, democracy and social liberation are not words that we should pay mere lip-service to; we really need to think deeply about them if we want to make a ‘difference’ and ‘change lives’.
Jack, thank you for your offer to proof-read my work I am so bad at it...I read words that are not there and miss some which should be deleted.....
what an absolutely enchanting way to do this...i quote Roald Dahl "Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.” and "And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.”
The world we live in was considered impossible by the past generations and while most of us are living through it, there have been a few who have been trying to create magic...that makes us children of impossibilities...all that we have around ourselves; ALL, was once considered impossible...
the reason indian education system, the finest of the olden times has fallen on its current labyrinth is indeed the inability of the student to question. you are spot on!
Six masters that taught me all that i know and will ever know are: Who, What, When, Where, Why and How...there isnt a seventh, if there is it is only a manifestation of these six...you bring out the essence of your message by pointing to the abhava ( lack ) by supplementing it with the bhava ( character)...that transcends all barriers of language, belief, region and religion considering that the manifestation of joy and grief is still the laughter and the tears. This world in motion deserves to learn emotion.
One with you in your journey to impossibility, Salut` !!
Uncover, Discover, Re`cover