|Dr. Hema Ramanathan believes that education is a public discipline; teaching is a social act; and research in education should mirror these concepts. In over 35 years as an educator spanning three continents and five countries, with five degrees in english and education from India, and a Ph.D. in teacher education from The Ohio State University, she has focused on supporting teachers and students in their educational endeavors. Her teaching and research interests are: instructional leadership; teacher professional development; teaching english as a second/ language; issues of diversity; and comparative education. As a teacher in both traditional face-to-face and online settings, she plays varied roles: instructor, research guide, model, and mentor. As a scholar, she has about 35 publications, including two chapters and two books, and over 100 presentations at international, national and regional professional conferences. She serves on numerous committees and boards of organizations such as Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, American Educational Research Association, Georgia TESOL and the International Community School.
India's Right to Education Act mandates that all private schools, to the extent of 25% of their enrolment, enroll students from economically weaker and socially disadvantaged (EWSD) sections of society in the neighborhood by simple random selection, beginning in 2011 at the entry level of Grade I. Dr. Ramanathan's Fulbright-Nehru research is titled as "Academic desegregation in India: Private schools and the Right to Education Act". This ethnographic study will seek to understand the processes by which administrators and teachers in private schools plan and implement policies and practices to successfully accommodate students from EWSD sections of society and help them assimilate into their schools while maintaining high academic standards.