Schools Can Change in India - A Case Study

Learning Forward 2017 Conference: Session Info
Session No: 2206
Schools Can Change in India—A Case Study
Tuesday, December 5, 2017 
10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Learn about the work by Learning Forward India to transform rural schools in India through a case study of The Fabindia School. Explore the use of Standards for Professional Learning and the book, Schools Can Change, along with social media to create the right leadership, vision, culture, and relationships to empower teachers to embrace PLCs and new approaches to teaching and learning. Make connections to your own transformation efforts.
Karl Clauset, National Center for School Change, Bellingham, WA,; and
Sandeep Dutt, Bhadrajun Artisans Trust, Pali, OT,
Area Of Focus:
Learning Communities
Principals, Assistant Principals
School-Based Staff Developers/Instructional Coaches
Teacher Leaders/Mentors/Team Leaders
Addressing change and resistance
Use of technology for professional learning
#LearnFwd17 #LearningForward #LearningForwardIndia
Learning Forward India provides high-impact consulting services for partners with the tools to transform professional learning, increase educator capacity, and improve student achievement. We work very closely with our partner schools and assist in the Monitoring and Evaluation of the school improvement process.

Sandeep's work for The Fabindia Schools Programme to demonstrate excellence in school operations, involving the community and establishing a sustainable model for delivering good education in the villages of India, is now being replicated on a larger scale. His belief is that the happiness of young people is in our hands, and we must do all to help them live their dreams by providing them with the best possible education. Taking ahead his vision and mission, he is working to provide affordable quality education in rural and urban India.

"My understanding is learning outcomes improvement cannot be offloaded to technology. Teachers trained with excellent spoken and storytelling skills can only make this happen, by weaving lessons appropriately in their interaction with students inside the classroom. Teachers can simulate the art of visualisation in students with their storytelling methods. Towards this the leadership improvement programs by Sandeep Dutt and his team is the only permanent fix for the current situation, technology can only take us to a limited distance".
-  VRL Swamy Vadali, Ayati Labs Pvt Ltd


How Professional Learning Communities Respond When Kids Don’t Learn?
The book Whatever It Takes by Richard DuFour, Rebecca DuFour, Robert Eaker & Gayle Karhanek, has made a mighty and enduring contribution to helping us create the best school we have ever had.
“Quality teaching requires strong Professional Learning Communities.” We at The Fabindia School strive to be a GREAT school by creating PLC (Professional Learning Community). A shared Mission, Vision, Values and Goals; the fundamental purpose of school is learning, not teaching.
What happens in our school when, despite our efforts in the classroom, a student does not learn? When a student experiences difficulty? Is our response based on intervention rather than remediation? Is our response systematic? Is our response timely?
At schools, answers to these questions could be left to individual teachers to resolve but a PLC (Professional Learning Community) will create aschool-wide system of intervention to provide additional time and support when students face difficulty at the initial stage.
Consider the following analogy: you enter your kitchen at 7:00 a.m. secure in the knowledge that your kitchen has everything to prepare your morning tea. On this particular morning, however, you discover that the tea leaves are out of stock. You would question why the maid didn’t tell you, why no one monitored the stock. This absence of a response plan would strike you as extremely peculiar and as incongruous with the mission of PLC’s.
Yet, schools that pledge their allegiance to the mission of learning for all will definitely have plans when a student is not learning. Similarly, when we introduced this Book to our teachers during a PDP session, the learning outcomes were:
  • Involvement of every child in the class.
  • Connect and identify the child, understand and find a way for that child.
  • Develop emotional attachment with the child.
  • Extra attention to be given to slow learners.
  • Setup action plans/teams to help the child.

Whatever it Takes: How Professional Learning Communities Respond ...
Book by Richard DuFour
The inspiration and content to write this blog comes from the Book “Whatever It Takes” The key message of this book is that Professional Learning Community acknowledges the incongruity between a proposed commitment to learning for all and the absence of a coordinated strategy to respond when students don’t learn.

Our investigation of how systems and processes might operate begins in the next blog post.
~Ms. Rajeshree Shihag is the Principal of The Fabindia School. Her email address is

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