About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 5372-5380
Publication year: 2018
ISBN: 978-84-697-9480-7
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2018.1271

Conference name: 12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 5-7 March, 2018
Location: Valencia, Spain

ADULT WOMEN’S EMPOWERMENT: LEARNING THROUGH PEER TEACHING IN ICT-ENHANCED COURSES AROUND EMPLOYMENT SKILLS AND SOCIAL ISSUES IN INDIAN VILLAGES

B. Rao1, S. Strauss2

1Amrita University (INDIA)
2Tel Aviv University (ISRAEL)
Teaching is often seen as residing exclusively in designated places where teaching occurs (schools), by professionals (trained teachers) for the education of those with immature knowledge (child learners) who learn cultural content (embodied in curricula) that is regulated by governmental agencies (federal, state, local). However, this is but a small sliver of teaching. For instance, teaching occurs in small scale societies where there are no schools; adults teach adults in the workplace, fields, etc.; children teach children, etc. Those who teach have rarely received professional training in both teaching and the subject matter they teach.

We describe a joint educational project carried out in India in collaboration between the co-authors of this abstract. The project has underpinnings of research and theory in peer tutoring, use of technology that facilitates it and how, together, they facilitate women’s empowerment.

Peer tutoring refers to teaching that takes place between people generally not professionals in teaching. It has been found to be effective in schools.

Women’s empowerment is an issue of great importance that has gained much recent public interest. At its foundation is the understanding that, for a variety of reasons, women have not been treated as equals to men. Globally, this is a pervasive phenomenon. Despite governments’ and educational institutions’ efforts, a large population of women are denied equality due to social, political and cultural forces.

An example comes from villages in India, where our collaborative work is being conducted. There, women are often undereducated, usually involved in subsistence living. Young girls from these villages are being prepared for a similar life.

One of our innovations is to use technology for teaching low literate women in two streams: vocational and socio-democratic skills. Another innovation is that the skills taught are designed to break gender barriers.

The use of ICT and the lack of teachers in rural environments fosters peer teaching. Peer teaching, in turn, creates a community of teaching, learning and practice. The process is sustainable and leads to societal change.

Our observations about village women using ICT learning material and teaching each other collaboratively without an expert (say a mason or a tailor) teaching them, is that it has been successful in their learning the competencies of a trade. Women learn to make a shirt where no single woman has all the knowledge about how to do that. Each brings her knowledge to bear when teaching collaboratively by combining their knowledge as a community in teaching each other how to make a shirt.

Similar results surface when women design solutions for social issues. Focus group discussions follow ICT classes on sensitive social topics. The women watch videos and play ICT-based games around social issues, arriving at solutions of these issues based on peer discussions.

The results of this community of teachers spreads in their villages. These women are empowered and now have prestige they never had before, and girls of the village see their mothers in new and positive roles which encourages them to follow in their mothers’ footsteps.
@InProceedings{RAO2018ADU,
author = {Rao, B. and Strauss, S.},
title = {ADULT WOMEN’S EMPOWERMENT: LEARNING THROUGH PEER TEACHING IN ICT-ENHANCED COURSES AROUND EMPLOYMENT SKILLS AND SOCIAL ISSUES IN INDIAN VILLAGES},
series = {12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2018 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-697-9480-7},
issn = {2340-1079},
doi = {10.21125/inted.2018.1271},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/inted.2018.1271},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {5-7 March, 2018},
year = {2018},
pages = {5372-5380}}
TY - CONF
AU - B. Rao AU - S. Strauss
TI - ADULT WOMEN’S EMPOWERMENT: LEARNING THROUGH PEER TEACHING IN ICT-ENHANCED COURSES AROUND EMPLOYMENT SKILLS AND SOCIAL ISSUES IN INDIAN VILLAGES
SN - 978-84-697-9480-7/2340-1079
DO - 10.21125/inted.2018.1271
PY - 2018
Y1 - 5-7 March, 2018
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2018 Proceedings
SP - 5372
EP - 5380
ER -
B. Rao, S. Strauss (2018) ADULT WOMEN’S EMPOWERMENT: LEARNING THROUGH PEER TEACHING IN ICT-ENHANCED COURSES AROUND EMPLOYMENT SKILLS AND SOCIAL ISSUES IN INDIAN VILLAGES, INTED2018 Proceedings, pp. 5372-5380.
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