Living in Rapture...

Stanley Stephen trained to be a software engineer. After 10 years of getting bits and bytes to do his bidding in Germany and USA, Stanley returned to India to study philosophy and child psychology.

He is a musician at heart and has spent over 20 years studying and exploring the musical traditions of the world. As a child, he could play anything on the keyboards by ear. Understanding chord theory all by himself at the age of 10 still remains his best memory of rapture.

Following his passion for music, Stanley developed a very different method of practicing Music Therapy. His research revealed that music is better suited for developing skills, attitudes and coping mechanism. In that capacity, music therapy plays a preventive role more effectively. Contrary to popular notions, just listening to a particular kind of music does not seem have any innate ability to cure. The therapy is primarily in the interactions with the therapist and music plays the role of a very potent catalyst.

In 2009, he created a series of stories for children that depicts ordinary events but offers extraordinary insight. In the beginning, the stories were written to help his four-year-old to understand the world around. As they developed, the stories broke free and now speak to a larger audience, including parents and teachers.

The Art of Criticism is the first of a series of books that grapple with less-wieldy topics. Mad Eddie, a fictional character, is the original author of these books. Stanley only plays the role of transcriber and editor. Maddy’s Diaries, as the series is called is planned to include six books.

Over the years, Stanley has matured as a writer, specializing in poetic expression. He has a collection of poems that is ready for publication titled "A Silver God in a Golden World". Poetry, he believes, is a powerful thinking tool. Good poems are built around powerful, multidimensional ideas that read easily.

Currently he is working full time at Mahatma Gandhi International School, Ahmedabad. He is actively developing a framework to plan, execute, document and assess student learning experiences that are holistic, project-based and inclusive. Part of the challenge in this space, he believes, is in formalizing the summative assessments when student work is constantly evolving and new subject links are taken up frequently. Also, the art of managing educational projects is in creating a document trail that maps what is done in the classroom to the curriculum as well as the developmental milestones of children.

Stanley still enjoys building software systems and writing code. He believes that young learners need to understand the art of software programming rather than just consuming new technologies. Programming encourages systems thinking and develops problem solving skills that they will then use to become more aware and responsible citizens.


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