Charru Sharma, Ph.D.
Fulbright Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Graduate School of Education
Charru Sharma, Ph.D. is presently a Fulbright Postdoctoral Fellow at the Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania and an Associate Professor who teaches Child Development at the University of Delhi, India. She was a Commonwealth Academic Staff Fellow in 2012 at the University of Reading, UK . Charru has worked for over twenty years in the area of child development and drama and education. Her expertise is in conducting drama workshops with children and adults with a focus on self development. She blends drama skills and her proficiency in child development to augment the development of children. She has worked with the urban and rural population of India including school children, children from disadvantaged sections of society, street children, teachers, teacher trainees, street educators, youth and parents.
Her vision is to develop her work further and use drama with children and teachers in a radical way by which children think outside the box and are able to express their innate creative abilities. Drama she believes, facilitates children in drawing a bridge between their real life experiences and classroom learning and enhances their abilities to deal with relationships in a constructive manner.
After earning a Master’s degree in Child Development, Charru worked as an Actor Teacher at the National School of Drama in India and then took up university teaching. Her search for answers pertaining to how drama facilitates the developmental facets of children persisted for a while until she decided to frame that as her doctoral query and delve into it. Her doctoral research is a pioneering endeavor in India, in the realm of using drama with primary school children and to study it’s impact on their social and cognitive development.
Dr. Sharma was awarded the Doctoral Fellowship by the Indian Council of Social Science Research, Delhi. She was also awarded the Research Award by the University Grants Commission and the Post Doctoral Fellowship by Indian Council of Social Science Research in 2008, 2009 and 2011. She was awarded the second position for Best Paper Presentation at the Platinum Jubilee International Conference on ‘Excellence in Home Science: Contemporary Issues and Concerns’ in Delhi. She has qualified the University Grants Commission’s Eligibility of Lectureship test, Junior and Senior Research Fellowship tests in India. She was appointed as a subject expert to review the training package for teachers teaching art at elementary level in India.
Charru has extensively presented papers and conducted workshops at international and national conferences in the field of drama, education and child development. She would be leading a Special Interest Group: ‘The initial training of teachers, educators and practitioners in Drama and Education’ and presenting a paper at the International Drama and Education Congress in Paris in July 2013.
Her publications include books under publication titled:
- Drama and Theatre with Children; Creating Drama in Primary Schools. Dr Sharma is the co-author of the book An Integrated Approach to Human Development; Manav Vikas: Ek.Parichay, 2007. Dr Sharma’s paper ‘Creating active learning spaces in primary classrooms: A module using creative drama’ is under publication in a book Qualitative Research on Illness, Well-Being and Self-Growth: Contemporary Indian Perspectives to be published by Routledge. A paper by her entitled-Transforming Passive Indian Classrooms to Creative Learning Spaces through Creative Drama was published by the National Drama International Journal Vol 2, No1, 2011. Her paper titled Creative Drama for Humane Education: An Indian Experience was published in 2007 in the book Universal Mosaic of Drama and Theatre: The IDEA 2004 Dialogues.
- Invoking Creativity in Pedagogy through Creative Drama- a paper by her was published in the book Excellence in Home Science: Contemporary Issues and Concerns, 2007. Her paper titled – Use of Creative Drama in the Development of Children was published in the Indian Council for Child Welfare Journal in 2002; Creative drama for development of children in primary schools was published in National Council of Educational Research and Training Journal, The Primary Teacher Vol. XXVIII Number 3, July 2003; Why do children lie? was published in Teacher Plus Journal, Vol. I Number 4, July/ August 2003.