We are starting the new year with new challenges, revised priorities and a stronger team. In this new year, we will continue to share with you some of the lessons we have learnt on an ongoing basis. We urge you to ask us questions, share feedback and share our findings with your friends and colleagues.

In this section, we have highlighted two of our lessons learnt in the last few months.

1. Emphasise on the element of ‘critical thinking’ in the programme curriculum

One of the most critical tools for implementation of Action for Equality Programme is the curriculum. Curriculum development is an ongoing process and today we are using the 4th version of the curriculum. We have invested a lot of resources to design, develop and strengthen the curriculum.

However, one element that we haven’t emphasised on enough is the element of ‘critical thinking’.

Over the coming months the Action for Equality Programme team will be focussing on embedding this element in each and every module of the Graduate Programme as well as the Alumni Programme. Our objective will be to ensure that we provide inputs to the men who are part of the programme to develop skills including observation, interpretation, analysis, inference, evaluation and explanation.

We expect the men to attend our sessions, learn, unlearn and apply what they have learnt to inform their behaviour. This includes them being able to:

• Recognize problems, to find workable means for meeting those problems

• Gather pertinent information

• Recognize unstated assumptions and values

• Comprehend and use language with accuracy, clarity, and discernment

• Interpret data, to appraise evidence and evaluate arguments

• Draw reasonable conclusions

• Put to test the conclusions and generalizations at which one arrives

• Reconstruct one’s patterns of beliefs on the basis of wider experience

• Render accurate judgments about specific things and qualities in everyday life

We recognise that this is step–by-step process. This means that we do not have to wait for them to take action at the end of the graduate programme, but the process can start from the day they join the programme.

2. Let’s change the conversation

In this section, we talk about a ‘change’ that we as an organisation have gone through over the last few years. Change that is reflected in our approach, principles, model, curriculum, communications; and plans for the future. Change that demands us to look at men as agents of change rather than current or future perpetrators; change that demands us to believe in the fact that men WANT to change; change that demands us to stop pointing fingers and recognise our role in raising men.

These points are further elaborated in the blog that we recently released called ‘Let’s change the conversation’ . Now, our job is also to ensure that the people we work with – our beneficiaries, partners, supporters, well wishers, etc are on the same page with us.

– Rujuta Teredesai | Co-founder | Equal Community Foundation