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Dr Sarada Balagopalan

Department of Childhood Studies, Rutgers University, Camden / Centre For The Study Of Developing Societies (CSDS)

Sarada Balagopalan’s (PhD New York University) training is in the fields of education and anthropology and her work in elementary education foregrounds the schooling experiences of first-generation school-goers. She utilizes the tensions between children’s work and schooling to not only critically interrogate ‘policy’ and civil society efforts around children’s ‘right to education’, but to also draw attention to the desire and difficulties that frame children’s (and their communities) everyday engagement with a school space. This includes the material and disciplinary practices that undergird its imagination of a ‘schooled’ subject, with her ethnographic research serving as a point of departure to discuss broader issues like social exclusion, equity, quality and pedagogy.

She is one of the founding editors of Contemporary Education Dialogue, the biannual interdisciplinary journal on education in South Asia. She is on the editorial board of the journal Childhood: A Journal of Global Child Research and guest-edited a special issue in August 2011. She has been published in Economic and Political Weekly, Feminist Theory, Journal for the History of Childhood and Youth and Contemporary Education Dialogue and in several edited volumes. She served as the Chief Advisor (2005-08) to NCERT’s middle-school ‘Social and Political Life’ textbooks and has since 2011 been a member of Committee for Research on Elementary Education, Right to Education - National Advisory Council Task Force, Government of India. Her book Inhabiting ‘Childhood’: Children, Labour and Schooling in Postcolonial India (Palgrave) is forthcoming in 2014.


Email: saradab(ghi)

TRG Poverty and Education Research

Shifting ‘aspirations’ in a post-RTE landscape