Vedaaranya Heritage Arts and Healing Festival 2016

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Dr. Bernadette Anand

Dr. Bernadette Anand

International Lecturer and Seminar Leader

Internationally in demand as a lecturer and seminar leader Dr. Bernadette Anand has a career experience of over fifty years of experience in the field of education.  She has taught students in public and private educational institutions from the elementary grades to those who are teachers, aspiring educational leaders and principals completing their professional education.   She currently teaches at the Graduate Division of Bank Street College in New York City where in addition to teaching graduate level courses she observes and mentors in-service and aspiring teachers and school leaders. 
Her administrative roles as department chair and school principal have made her familiar with the multiple aspects of public education including the important need to honor the unique cultures of students, their communities and the local knowledge systems that inform the school stakeholder base.   When Dr. Anand founded and designed Renaissance Middle School now in its fifteenth year, she as principal and master teacher infused it with a progressive culture of hands-on learning based on its location in New York’s metropolitan area, its local community and its unique response to school desegregation and the US Civil Rights movement. 
Dr. Anand, born and raised in New York’s metropolitan area is a graduate of Caldwell College New Jersey, her M.A. is from Providence College in Rhode Island.   She completed her doctoral studies at the New York University School of Education, Nursing, Health and Arts Professions where she focused on decision models of collaboration by teachers, school administrators, students and their parents along with members of the local community.   Dr. Anand’s school governance and curriculum development style rests on a joint effort of the entire school stakeholder body.  She is certified in New York State as School Administrator/Supervisor and in New Jersey to teach English from the elementary through the secondary levels, to supervise and administrator schools.

In 2008 Dr. Anand became recipient of a Fulbright Award to teach at Algappa University in Karaikudi, Tamil Nadu.  The six-months of living and teaching rural Tamil Nadu M. Ed. and M. Phil. students was a milestone experience in Dr. Anand’s teaching career.  Prior to this six month stay Dr. Anand had visited her family by marriage in North India and had seen a great deal of the beauty as she toured the subcontinent’s many wonders.  However this extended opportunity allowed her to concurrently teach and learn with students about the great philosophers such as Tagore and Rousseau, Radhakrishnan and Plato in the context of Tamil Nadu rural culture.   In Karaikudi with the assistance of an Alagappa  colleague Dr. Anand was able to publish a bilingual (English and Tamil) compendium of powerfully expressed life commitments made by teachers in a slim volume called “Finding the Joy in Teaching: Stories from In-Service Teachers.”   
Among Dr. Anand’s many other publications, of special note in the area of Diversity and Inclusion are, Off Track a film that documents an innovative multicultural de-tracked ninth grade English program and Montclair High School and Keeping the Struggle Alive: Studying Desegregation in Our Town.  a guide to studying local knowledge and oral community history. Dr. Anand is a professional developer for urban public schools and partners with the New York City Board of Education and serves on the boards of several educational non-profits and organizations.  She resides in New York with Dr. Vivodh Anand her spouse of forty years.

Keeping the Struggle Alive, a Middle School Project in the study of history, culture and the US Civil Rights Movement:
When students in a New Jersey Public Middle school decided to learn about their community's history of desegregation through a unique language, arts and social studies project, no one imagined how powerful the experience would be for everyone involved. In addition to researching newspaper articles and historical documents, the students conducted interviews with townspeople who participated in the struggle to desegregate northern U.S. schools. They learned how everyday people became activists, how a bus could symbolize political struggle, and how the fight for full integration is never over.
This celebrated middle school project has been published in book form by Teachers’ College Press, as ‘Keeping the Struggle Alive’, a resource used throughout the US as a model and as a template of progressive pedagogy.
Her presentation discusses social action projects and shows how teachers may involve youth in the complex issues that surround their local and personal histories, cultures, and ethnic relationships in increasingly diverse and often divided communities. Dr. Anand’s presentation demonstrates how real learning occurs when school projects are rooted locally and are conducted by, with, and for, young learners.