Old Habits Die Hard: The Stubborn Specter of Traditional Education

There’s a reason this organization is called ITSA and not SAIT, and it’s more than just verbal aesthetics. It is no coincidence that “independent thought” comes before “social action.” Whatever social action we try to inspire and foster in our workshop participants is subordinate to independent thought. When we talk about “igniting the flame of social change,” there is no question that that flame is located squarely in the human mind.
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Project Symposium

Today was the ITSA 2013 Project Symposium! Over the course of the workshops, students have been encouraged to think about which social issues they are interested in. Then, they have to think about a project that they can implement in their community to help fix this issue. These project proposal is what the ITSA workshops are all about.
However, this year, there is an exciting twist!

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Closing Ceremony

Today was the closing ceremony of the ITSA workshops 2013!

I just have to say that I am so incredibly proud of all the young people who presented their newly funded projects today. It is truly amazing how you have chosen specific issues, and are really dedicated to solving those issues.READ MORE

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Rajkot

For a few days, the ITSA team is going to Rajkot! We had an intensive two day workshop series at the The Galaxy Education System (TGES). After a very eventful, yet comfortable, sleeper bus ride, we finally made it to Rajkot. We had prepared everything for the days to come. But first it was Isabel’s 21st birthday! So we had to have a midnight celebration with cake, naturally.

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Reflections upon Summer 2012

I guess the word I would describe my overall experience with India would be “Up Close.” This word has been in my head since the first day of the trip when little kids came knocking (and some climbing) on our van for money until the last night when our group gathered in a circle at night to share things we appreciated about each other. Being with around 12-20  people throughout the trip (I realized just how around people I had been when I was waiting alone in the Delhi airport for 12 hours…), we were first of all, physically “up close.” Everyday, we shoved ourselves into the 9-person “tourist vehicle” van, squeezing in and sitting on top of one another.READ MORE
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Musings at the Gandhi Ashram

Piling seven people into a five person car (and five people into an eight person van),  we finally made our way to the Gandhi Ashram.  The premise is modestly designed: a series of bungalows overlooking blue, algae coated water.  The lake, now polluted, is entirely still.  I leaned my torso forward over the concrete ledge.  My vision of the immobile pool was perfectly framed by bridges supporting two-wheelers cascading their course.

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Inspiring Student Confidence

This letter was written by Rajvi Patel, a high school student who participated in an ITSA workshop in 2011. 

“The entire experience of ITSA was mind blowing. The workshops were great; there were so many activities involved. We played interactive games, had discussions and the program helped increase our awareness about the socio-economic conditions of our country. I now know that we are the future leaders of our country and this workshop helped me realize it.

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