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Swati Mehrotra (Graduated 2008)


To tell you about me...

I am a 'Research Scholar' (I like that sound) with the Technology Education group. If you ask me which year, I pretend not to hear! To give a hint - I have appeared for my comprehensive examination and have submitted my research proposal.

Academic background

I did my schooling from All Saints' College, Nainital - a very beautiful place and I owe a lot to my Alma Mater. Next, I went to Baroda, to do my graduation in Nutrition (M.S.University, Baroda) and then my post-graduation, also in Nutrition, specializing in Public Health Nutrition. From M.Sc. Nutrition to a Ph.D. in Education (HBCSE)... where is the connection? You wonder. I am still wondering. After finishing my Masters, I knew that I wanted to do a Ph.D. but I did not have a clear idea about what exactly I wanted to do. A self-identity crisis followed and all that I knew was that I wanted to work with children and wanted to bring out the best in me and also give back something to the society that had provided me lots! Another motivation for me to opt for research in education was to bring some changes in our existing education system. I never liked appearing for dozens of exams in a year which I felt were just a waste of time and resources. I felt they could never test a person's real ability (of course, the cramming power was put to test) and would rather harm the interests than do any good! So I want to come up with a system that would allow children to learn while they are having fun and grow up to be their 'natural selves'. And so here I am - trying to unlearn all that I had learnt till now.

On the basis of what you have read about me, you must be thinking, 'how did a confused creature like this come here?'. That's a natural question: Well, it's some bit of luck, some blessings and some skewed effort.

About my Research Work and Projects

I am doing my Ph.D. in the area of Design and Technology with particular emphasis on gender issues. At the Centre we have a small group that works in this area. I work closely with Ritesh Khunyakari, and Sugra Chunawala and Chitra Natarajan guide us. Currently I am at the stage of data collection, working with secondary school students, finding out their ideas about technology. We are also developing design and technology modules based on the classic technology-design cycle (Design-Make-Appraise as suggested by Kimbell- 1986), and trying it out with students, and seeing how boys and girls, and students from urban and rural areas perform at it.

Papers presented

  • Mehrotra S., Chunawala, S (2001), Presented a poster titled 'Teaching map skills at third grade'at Internaional conference on Science, Technology and Mathematics Education for Human Development held at Goa.
  • Mehrotra S., Sheth, M, (2001): Presented a poster titled Food safety education: A sustainable way to reduce diarrhoeal incidences at 9th Asian Conference on Diarrhoeal diseases and Nutrition held at New Delhi.
  • S. Mehrotra, R..Khunyakari, S. Chunawala, C. Natarajan (2002): Presented a paper titled 'What posters reveal about students' ideas on science and technology in the conference on 'Approaches to the implementation of multilingual/ multi-expressive education in India and South Africa' held at Mumbai.
  • S. Mehrotra, R..Khunyakari, S. Chunawala, C. Natarajan (2003): Presented a paper titled, Using posters to understand (upper primary and secondary school) students ideas about science and technology - in the International Symposium on Social production of knowledge through diversity of expressive modes, multiple literacies and bi (multi) lingual relationships held at Pune.
  • Mehrotra, Swati and Sugra, Chunawala (2004): State of the Art: Gender Illustrations in the New Science and Technology Textbooks, paper presented at a meeting 'Women in Science: Is the Glass Ceiling Disappearing at NISTADS, New Delhi.
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