2011's program was three weeks in June mostly in the city of Mumbai. For the first time, Phillips Academy faculty and students were involved together for the entire program. We were joined by two schools in Bombay, The American School of Bombay and The Cathedral School, as we learned about relationships between education and development through scholarship, fieldwork, reflection and action.

Student Reflections

Below you will find research papers from students who participated in the Niswarth program in 2011. They are available in PDF download.

Central Questions:

  • What is the nature and purpose of education?
  • What roles can young people play in transforming education?


  • Gain exposure to varied contexts of education
  • Develop skills to evaluate issues from multiple perspectives and recognize complexity
  • Develop sophisticated levels of empathy
  • Assess needs → Organize resources → Empower to act
  • Reflect on personal education and issues within our school communities
  • Become catalysts and leaders for positive change in their schools and communities

Basic Calendar:

Week 1:

  • Introduction to education and development in India – speakers/seminars
  • Understanding the context of education in Mumbai from many perspectives
  • Volunteer in Dharavi schools

Week 2:

  • Work daily in Teach for India classrooms and conceptualize education project with TFI Fellows
  • Visit student families and communities with TFI Fellows
  • Visit Mani Bhavan and learn about Gandhian philosophy related to education
  • Bangalore trip to visit the Ashoka Foundation and meet Ashoka Fellows

Week 3:

  • Final classroom/community project
  • Discussions about youth voice, privilege, responsibility
  • Academic reflections and post program projects
  • Conference about “Youth Voices in Transforming Education”