Gopal Midha

Gopal Midha is currently in Goa and channeling his energies into setting up a center for educational research and writing a book on his PhD research experience.  The center for educational research that he is seeking support for is an ambitious enterprise to catapult India into an education research hub for the Global South. The center will work with educational leaders, teacher-leaders, and policy officials to build their research expertise and learn from them about the nuances of their complex local practice.


While Gopal awaits funding for the center, he is also writing a book about his PhD research journey. He wants this book to be an authentic and vulnerable account of the messiness of his research journey and to challenge the myth of research as a linear process. The book is aimed at graduate students and beginning researchers.


Overall, both the center and the book are driven by a desire to clear up some stubborn myths around doing research and to make designing and doing research less elite, more deeply engaging, and a rewarding experience. [3-22]


Gopal received his Ph.D. in December 2019 from the Curry School of Education- University of Virginia, Charlottesville.  For his dissertation he spent 8 months in India conducting a mini-ethnography of the taken-for-granted phenomena of school-level meetings. His dissertation, which has been downloaded over 1,000 times, follows his journey of making sense of how the everyday meetings of the school principals in high-need schools in Mumbai shape what and how people learn. He found that what and how people learned was influenced by whether the meeting was planned, who attended, what artifacts were used, and where the principal’s office was located.


His dissertation work also led to three publications in peer-reviewed journals.  The articles focus on school meetings, the effects of how principals conduct meetings, and how COVID affected the nature of school meetings. [11/19]


In the five years between graduating from CIE and joining University of Virginia, Gopal worked with central and state governments in India to strengthen district and school leadership and teacher education, including:


* strengthening teacher education through a research facility to support the D.Ed, B.Ed and M.Ed programs as well as professionals in India

* doing impact assessment of education programs through the lens of organizational strategy and educational leadership

* co-teaching a course on Educational Leadership and Management at Tata Institute of Social Sciences

* conducting workshops on Theater in Education using techniques from Theater of the Oppressed and Playback Theater [6/18]


Gopal continues to keep alive his interests combining theater and education which were encouraged during his graduate years at CIE. His CIE Masters capstone project on how educators could use Theater of the Oppressed has been downloaded more than 37,000 times..  


In 2021, he published a book based on his Master’s project titled Purple monkey, yellow rabbit which provides online and in-person theater activities to build connection, compassion, and courage.   


The book provides a manual of activities derived from various forms of theater such as Theater of the Oppressed, Playback Theater and Improv Theater. The activities are designed to make sessions come alive, whether in-person or virtual. The book also helps understand why each activity is helpful and gives the reader variations to choose from. [3-22]


In 2022 Gopal published a new article in the International Journal of Leadership in Education entitled Meetings: school leadership infrastructure that creates sense.  A free copy can be downloaded HERE  [6-22] 


In 2023 Gopal published an article in the Educational Management Administration and Leadership with the title Unplanned meetings: Shifting school principal practice 5 min at a time.  The article reviews the literature on a little-studied phenomena of unplanned meetings and their impact on school principals. [7-23]


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