- Agency building and early research exposure: A study in an Indian undergraduate science education program
Undergraduate research provides students with opportunities to positively perceive their association with a discipline through agentic experiences, and thereby fostering the disciplinary identity building. This study explores students’ experiences of participating in a 10-day long ‘Exposure cum Enrichment Camp in Chemistry’ organized by the National Initiative for Undergraduate Science (NIUS). The camp is attended by approximately 50 students every year who come from different parts of the country. They participate in extended laboratory sessions which necessitate reflection on their lab projects with a focus on experimental procedures and features of data. Additionally, they are provided guidance on core topics in chemistry. Semi structured interviews were conducted with 15 students to understand how students express their own identification and agential relationship with the subject. In this paper, we discuss their overall perceptions of participation in the camp including their self-reported accounts of emergence of agentic personalities during this camp.
- Integrating Psycho-Social Needs of Refugee Girl Children in Educational Spaces: A Case Study of Rohingya Girls Settled in Hyderabad
Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Hyderabad (2016-2018)
Under international law of Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) and Convention on the Rights of Children (1989), refugee children have theoretical rights to basic needs such as food, shelter, health care facilities and education. However, in ground reality, such laws are unenforceable in nature. In a situation of forced displacement, the women and girl children of the persecuted community are affected the most since through the violation of the bodily integrity of the female members of a community, the culture and ethnicity of the community is attacked. Protecting the immediate basic needs with a vision of long-term development for this doubly marginalized population thus becomes important in a host country. With respect to refugee girl children, educational spaces are sanctities which provide them with safety and security. However, this is not the case for Rohingya refugees in India. Undertaken in the suburbs of Hyderabad in refugee camps with the assistance of Save the Children, this study focuses on the analysis of the right to education of the Rohingya refugee girl child and her psycho-social needs in order to access and sustain at educational spaces. The study is qualitative in nature, pertaining to the feminist methodology of the interpretive paradigm with a thematic analysis of the data collected. This study showcases that access to educational spaces often involves sexual harassment, humiliation inflicted by teachers and peers within classrooms. Furthermore, there exist difficulties in learning a new language and integrating with the cultural norms of the host society. Within classrooms, teachers’ perceptions towards and interactions with these students can either encourage or discourage their participation. This study found out the high aspiration levels of refugee girl students and refugee parents are highly involved in their daughters’ education in order to secure a safe future. However, the obstacle which resonated with all refugee parents is the inability to achieve educational certificates in the absence of proper identification cards. This acts as the primary reason for prevalence of early child marriage within the community. Through this study, emphasis has been made to create spaces where refugee girl students can voice their problems, exercise agency in their life choices and carve out a better future for herself and her family. To achieve this, counselling services, language trainers and support from Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) are required to cater to their immediate needs.
Keywords: Rohingya refugee girl students, teachers’ perceptions, educational spaces, gender-based discrimination, psycho-social needs, counselling services, access to education
- Narratives of women’s experiences in science popularization careers
Science popularization aims at connecting to a generic and diverse audience with the intention of growing scientific knowledge in the reached communities. In science popularization, resources persons play a key role in maintaining good standards of science and technology dissemination. Careers in science popularization can satisfy many enthusiastic science graduates’ career-interests as well as their urge to contribute to science advancement. In spite of this, women representation in science popularization careers is low. The study captures experiences of women working in the science popularization field. A narrative inquiry methodology was applied to collect contributing authors’ first-hand experiences. In addition, interviews were conducted with 5 more participants, and the participants’ narratives were developed. The authors collectively analyze these narratives to understand how participants identified the possible benefits of working in this area. Further, they emphasize some of the challenges described by the participants in their career trajectory and how they dealt with it. Some challenges involved poor infrastructure at the camp sites or travel facilities, and negative attitudes of colleagues about women leadership, etc. A few experiences depicted how women themselves had to opt-out from opportunities in science popularization due to some of the above-mentioned conditions.