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'Change Workshop': January 4-8, 2016

QUEST & Azim Premji University jointly hosted a workshop on ‘Introduction to Intervention Led Educational Change’, January 4-8, 2016, in Pune. It offered participants an opportunity to learn principles underlying educational change, and appreciate new, expert roles required at multiple levels. It was attended by members from NGOs working with the education system, CSR organizations, funding agencies, education functionaries within the system and teachers. Mr. Shashi Nair and his team from Azim Premji University facilitated the workshop. 
What was the subject? 
This workshop focused on how change can occur in large public education systems, and occur for the better. 
The domain of educational change has been the subject of serious research across the globe. Its knowledge base, is becoming more profound and relevant to learn from, and needs to expand to include research on educational change in India. In fact, a significant part of the repeated failure of large scale interventions in changing practices can be traced to ignoring the learnings available in educational change literature. 
This workshop gave an opportunity to participants to engage with the body of knowledge on educational change, contextualised to the Indian public education system 
What was unique about it?
The workshop tapped into the body of knowledge from the domain of educational change to examine the expertise required at multiple levels for such change to take place. These expertise are :
1) People Undergoing Change 
2) Change Facilitators – those who need to work closely with people undergoing change to support them in making a successful transition to new practices 
3) Change Managers – those who need to navigate large scale interventions that are alien not just to the people undergoing change, but to a variety of other stakeholders of the education system.
4) Change Strategists – those who conceive a portfolio of interventions and processes that work in a holistic manner to ensure educational outcomes are met. 
It also gave some useful insights about the theory as to which section of the people can be targeted to initiate the intervention and the theory behind minimizing the resistance to change.
The workshop used multiple approaches such as case studies, films, discussions, documentaries, readings, games, workbooks, multiple methods of group work, sharing of experiences, application of models / tools etc. This helped the participants to see the application of concepts in their work place. The workshop also built in spaces for reflection on applicability and relevance to participants’ work. The participants were seen to be benefited by the experiences of the fellow participants. At the end of the workshop the participants have gained confidence that the strategically designed intervention has high possibilities of being successful at the scaling up stage within their organizations.