Dr. Dana L. Mitra

Grant Category: Fulbright-Nehru Senior Researcher
Field of Specialization: Education
Name: Dr. Dana L. Mitra    
Official Address: Department of Education Policy Studies
College of Education
Pennsylvania State University
University Park, Pennsylvania
Indian Host Institution: National Institute of Advanced Study,
Bengaluru, Karnataka
Duration of Grant & Start Date : Duration: 4 months
January 2012

Brief Bio:
Dr. Dana L. Mitra is an Associate Professor in the department of education policy studies at the Pennsylvania State University. She holds a Ph.D. from Stanford University in educational administration and policy analysis. Her prior work experience includes teaching elementary school in the Washington, DC area and serving as the coordinator for two White House Conferences on Character Education. Dr. Mitra's research interests include high school reform, student voice, and civic engagement. Among her publications, she has published articles in Teachers College Record entitled "The significance of students: Can increasing "student voice" in schools lead to gains in youth development?" and in Applied Developmental Science entitled "Providing spark and stability: The role of intermediary organizations in establishing school-based youth-adult partnerships." She also has published a book with SUNY Press entitled "Student voice in school reform: Building youth-adult partnerships that strengthen schools and empower youth".

Dr. Mitra's Fulbright-Nehru research is titled as "Exploring youth participation in the Karnataka region." Much research exists on child participation with NGOs in India, but little focuses on such work within school walls—a concept called student voice. Yet recent Indian educational policy shows interest in activities compatible with student voice and available research highlights promising youth outcomes for those participating in student voice efforts. This research will be an exploratory study examining how youth and adults conceptualize student voice in the Karnataka region, including examining existing student voice activities. Dr. Mitra will conduct an in-depth case study of one school plus gather data at two additional schools. Little discussion occurs between child participation and student voice scholars, despite similarity of programs and outcomes. She hopes by working at the National Institute for Advanced Studies in Bangalore, she will be able to hope to begin a conversation between these two bodies of scholars.