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Educator from India explores “Writer’s Workshop” implementation at BCSD
At a “continuing contact” session at MacArthur school, nationally recognized literacy expert Olivia Wahl works on Writer’s Workshop implementation strategies with BCSD 4th grade teachers and special guest, Parveen Shaikh, an administrator from the Somaiya Vidyavihar school in Mumbai, India. Shaikh visited BCSD elementary schools on the recommendation of her supervisor, a Cornell University faculty member, as part of a multi-district exploration of elementary education in the United States. The Somaiya school is a K-9 private “institute” serving 870 students and is one of 34 institutes on the massive Vidyavihar campus. At the end of her visit here in Binghamton, Parveen noted that she was delighted with the “student-directed” focus found in the Writer’s Workshop model and was thoroughly impressed with the level of individualized support students here have access to when compared to even the finest private schools in her native India. “In India, our students learn to write, but their learning is much more “teacher directed” in the early years – independent writing comes much later in the Indian curriculum." Parveen noted that while the curricula in India is generally very science oriented, the access to technology and resources such as media and web-based technologies is markedly more advanced here in Binghamton than in other facilities she has visited on her tour. Parveen has been documenting her learning experience over the past several weeks of her visit and intends to bring much of what she learned here back to her colleagues in Mumbai upon her return.

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