Australian Ambassador to Nepal launches book on transformative education
Posted: 25 May 2021
To mark World Book Day, Her Excellency Ms Felicity Volk, Australian Ambassador to Nepal, launched a book written by Australia Awards alum Dr Kashiraj Pandey at a virtual event in April.
Theorising Transformative Learning: The Power of Autoethnographic Narratives in Education is Dr Pandey’s account of his own experience as a transformative and transforming educator. The book unravels the ways he has used ethical dilemma story pedagogy to explore interpretative and creative spaces for transformative learning. Dr Pandey’s book serves to help educators utilise the sociocultural contexts connected to students’ lives and experiences.
On the book’s topic, Ambassador Volk commented, “A teacher shares ideas, experiences and values with students and, in turn, listens attentively to their views and perspectives. Together they find a place where text is connected to context, where education relates meaningfully to the lived experience, where, in Dr Pandey’s words, the factory education is put aside and instead learning is performed in students’ lives.”
She also remarked on the positive contributions of Australia Awards alumni such as Dr Pandey. “Like other Australia Awards alumni, Dr Pandey is a key contributor to positive change and continuing development for Nepal,” she said.
“This is exactly what we hope for from Australia Awards, itself a transformative learning process through which talented individuals in Nepal are supported in their journeys to be leaders in their fields when they return home.”
“They apply learnings gathered in Australia to their local contexts and, importantly, they share wisdoms from Nepal with their Australian teachers and fellow students. It is a two-way transformation.”
The virtual book launch, with more than 100 people in attendance, was facilitated by Australia Awards alum Drishya Gurung (Master of Education Leadership and Policy, Monash University, 2019). Professor Dr Mana Prasad Wagle, former Dean of Kathmandu University, and Ms Miriam E Corneli, former Senior English Language Fellow to Nepal, both provided comments on the book. In addition, three of Dr Pandey’s former professors from Murdoch University, the City University of New York and the University of North Florida offered congratulatory remarks.
Dr Pandey is an educator and teacher-trainer whose teaching and research focus on the practical application of theoretical principles in everyday life and learning contexts. He earned a PhD in Education from Murdoch University in 2018 with the support of an Australia Awards Scholarship, and is currently engaged as an Assistant Professor (English) at Kathmandu University. Dr Pandey’s book is published by Brill | Sense.
Image on top: Her Excellency Ms Felicity Volk, Australian Ambassador to Nepal celebrating the book’s launch with the author and Australia Awards alum, Dr Kashiraj Pandey