I recollect a very insightful learning that I gathered eight years ago when we at EduMedia set out to add value to educational leadership in India. We were not sure what would be the right format to work in this space. The original idea was to conduct workshops on Leadership for school principals. This idea came naturally to us as we were one of the pioneers of organised life skills learning in India. To gain clarity I did what I know best; travelled across India and met up with school leaders and principals. I would have met over 200 odd principals over a period of a year trying to get an insight into their world. These meetings gave us vital understanding of the world of school leaders. The backgrounds they come from, the challenges they face, their aspirations and so on.
Some facts were startling too. For instance, in a country as diverse and as large as ours, there were schools that did not have even a single institution dedicated to creating school leaders. Even today we hardly have any decent institutions that offer leadership education. Another learning was the disconnect between the principals and their world. Principals lived in glass cabins isolated from the real world around them. The ones who wanted to learn did not know where to look and the others were oblivious that they needed to learn. Another interesting observation was that schools are centers of learning and what is very funny is that centers of learning do not learn from each other. There is very little sharing of learnings or experiences that happens between schools. For someone like me who works from the outside with schools I see how schools are all at different levels of evolution and they are all trying to rediscover the wheel for themselves.
Armed with this learning we got back to the drawing board and came up with the principal direction of Mentor -a platform that enables sharing of best practices in schools. We started off with the print magazine 8 years ago and 4 years later followed it up with the Mentor Conclave. Over the years the Mentor Conclave has become a benchmark for educators to come together and learn. A couple of years ago we initiated the Mentor Journal an opportunity for researchers and Practioners to share their learning with the edutopia.
Coming 1st & 2nd of December, 2015 India’s most prestigious institution IISc will play host to one of the most respected educational conferences the Mentor Conclave 2015. This year the Mentor Journal will be released as part of the conclave and selected papers get an opportunity to be presented at the Conclave. I invite you to share your experiences by submitting a research / experience paper for the journal. It is a great opportunity to showcase the wonderful work you do as educators from across the globe.