This book celebrates the long, varied and distinguished career of Mina Swaminathan, a leading practitioner, trainer and writer in the field of education, focusing specifically on early childhood education, gender and communication. Her concern with innovative educational strategies for children, adults and teachers led her to use drama and theatre extensively, as tools to explore a variety of wider social issues, from oppressive social relationships to alternate sexualities. This not only prepared the ground for interrogating assumptions about gender roles, relations and processes of socialisation but also contributed to setting in motion a process of social change and women's empowerment, with emphasis on issues ranging from maternity entitlements and the right to development of children below six, to a curriculum for gender studies, and using theatre and creative communication strategies for advocacy.
Rather than viewing these fields and disciplines as independent silos, this book seeks to bring together different perspectives and social concerns in relation to education, viewed as a broad field of learning, questioning and deepening understandings. It highlights the important role of not just analysis and interpretation of evidence, but equally effective communication. It is innovative in examining the links between theory, research and practice, including advocacy for policy change, in the realms of early childhood education and gender studies, focusing on the use of theatre as a political tool for mobilisation and change.
Mina Swaminathan's creative engagement with educational practice and policy reveals the critical interlinkages between disciplines and social contexts. This book provides a glimpse into different facets of those linkages." - Sumi Krishna, former President, Indian Association for Women's Studies
Nitya Rao is Professor of Gender and Development at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, United Kingdom. She has worked exten-sively in the field of women's rights, employment and education for close to three decades. Located mainly in South Asia, her research interests include exploring the gendered changes in land and agrarian relations, migration and livelihoods, education, intra-household relations and identities. She has published extensively on these themes. Her book on the theme of land as a resource in the struggle over gendered identities entitled: Good Women Do Not Inherit Land: Politics of Land and Gender in India was published in 2008, with a second paperback edition in 2012.