Ravi J. Matthai Centre For Educational Innovation (RJMCEI)

The Ravi J. Matthai Centre for Educational Innovation (RJMCEI) was formally established in 1991. It is named after Professor Ravi J. Matthai (1927-1984), the first full-time Director of IIMA. From an initial focus on institution building and higher education, the mandate of the RJMCEI has gradually expanded to include primary education, literacy and secondary education. The Centre has a robust research agenda built around innovations in education and innovative approaches to countering problems in education. (See Current Projects below for brief descriptions of RJMCEI's research projects.) 

The Centre has a long history of working with the Government of India and various state governments on management of education. It has participated in the assessments of various programs such as the District Primary Education Programme, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, National Literacy Campaigns and Post-Literacy Campaigns, Shiksha Karmi and the Navodaya Vidyalaya scheme. It has also worked on curriculum packages in elementary education, emergency education for earthquake-affected regions, innovations within the public educational system, and has prepared a number of studies of educational performance.  Its more significant projects include the Same Language Subtitling project, built on the principle of reinforcing the learning of newly literate people through sub-titling of songs in the same language, and the development of a peer-driven, decentralized professional development system based on teacher-initiated innovations. The RJMCEI has also developed a number of case studies of innovative schools, rural institutions of higher education and management education institutions in India and other SAARC countries and Africa.

The RJMCEI has been involved in capability building in the educational sector. It runs a popular one-week programme for leadership development in secondary schools. In addition, the RJMCEI has conducted leadership programs for heads of management institutes, engineering colleges and Industrial Training Institutes, directors of the State Educational Research and Training Councils, and other government officials.

Area Members

Primary Faculty Members

Devasmita Chakraverty <devasmitac@iima.ac.in>

Ambrish Dongre <ambrishd@iima.ac.inPersonal pagePersonal page2

Kathan Shukla <kathans@iima.ac.in>

Vijaya Sherry Chand <vijaya@iima.ac.infaculty.iima.ac.in/~vijayawww.inshodh.org (Chairperson)

Secondary Faculty Members

Naveen Amblee <naveena@iima.ac.in>

Vishal Gupta <vishal@iima.ac.in

Kavitha Ranganathan <kavitha@iima.ac.in>

Ankur Sarin <asarin@iima.ac.in>

Neharika Vohra <neharika@iima.ac.in>


Academic Associate: Megha Gurnani

Doctoral Programme

The doctoral programme in Innovation and Management in Education aims at developing research scholars and teachers who can take up leadership roles in educational organizations and systems. The focus on innovation and management is expected to develop in the graduates a unique academic capability that combines a management perspective with the theme of innovation. This fits in with the emerging demand for people with fresh perspectives on educational change from a wide range of academic institutions like schools, colleges and universities, organizations that provide services and ancillary support to the regular educational structures, well-established national and international educational planning organizations and academic institutions, and various research bodies and social think-tanks. More details are available at the doctoral programme page.  Meet our doctoral students

Current/ Recent Projects

This project aims at leveraging teacher-generated innovations to promote a decentralized and peer-driven approach to teacher development that can complement top-down reform. It has created an ‘Educational Innovations Bank' (EI Bank), a clearing house for innovations of government school teachers who have achieved their educational goals in spite of facing the same constraints that thousands of others face.  As of September 2019, the EI Bank had developed a repository of about 13,000 verified innovations, another 7000 innovative ideas and about 16,000 teacher projects, from Gujarat and Maharashtra (www.inshodh.org).  The EI Bank was supported by the Sir Ratan Tata Trust, Mumbai (2005-07); the Hewlett-Packard Sustainability and Social Innovation Award (2012-13) has made the scaling up of the work and its conversion into a web-based resource possible.  Time frame: Ongoing (Vijaya Sherry Chand)

The objective of the first phase of this project was to develop a cost-effective platform for online in-service professional development of teachers that uses a curriculum based on teacher-driven innovations. Two pilots for about 2000 government school principals on governance were conducted during January to October 2017. The pilots were well received, and their evaluation by a doctoral student of IIMA showed significant changes in change-oriented behaviour, as assessed by subordinates.  

In Phase II, a new program for about 19,000 science and math teachers of upper primary schools in Gujarat was launched on May 20, 2018. This ended on December 31, 2018. This program was sponsored by Samagra Shiksha, Gujarat. It also involved training about 500 Cluster Resource Centre Coordinators in classroom observation. In Phase III, the program has been expanded to all levels and most subjects of the elementary cycle. This program had a curriculum co-construction component (June-August 2019), and was launched on August 16, 2019. It closed on January 10, 2020 and covered 139,900 teachers. With this, the development-demonstration of a cost-effective and technologically feasible platform for large-scale online professional development of grassroot-level staff in education and other public systems has been completed. The key features of the platform are a case-method approach (built on problem-solving work of teachers), peer-learning through discussion forums, periodic self-reflective assessments, and an applied in-class project to be carried out by the participants towards the end of the program.

(Project completed) (Vijaya Sherry Chand)

This project sought to examine the effectiveness of "Educational Innovation Fairs" as a tool for developing a culture of innovation in the District Institutes of Education and Training in Gujarat. IIMA was directly involved in the first two "Educational Innovation Fairs" 2016 and 2017. In each district, about 40 teachers, whose work had been validated, displayed their innovations for two days. The stalls were visited by one teacher from each school in the district. All the visitors ranked the innovations. The top three innovative teachers from each district were invited to a state fair. A study of the program found that more than half of the visitors had adopted or adapted at least one idea from the fairs. The government conducted the fairs on its own in 2018, 2019 and 2020. (Project completed) (Vijaya Sherry Chand)

The aim of this project was to develop a network mechanism to disseminate problem-solving innovations and promote discussion on particular innovations. A mobile phone-based discussion forum received a link to one of the innovations in the EI Bank every 10 days, and the best responses were fed back to the forum. About 10,000 teachers participated in the forum. A similar activity was carried out through about 90 WhatsApp groups. The work was then extended to studying self-initiated teacher development groups that use Facebook, websites or WhatsApp as communication tools and was incorporated into the online professional development platform. (Project completed) (Vijaya Sherry Chand)

This study seeks to understand, from the perspective of school principals, the features of the models of school governance developed by them as a result of their re-contextualization of policy guidelines concerning school management committees. The study is based on in-depth case studies of selected teachers and school management committees. (Ongoing) (Vijaya Sherry Chand)

This project, initiated in 2014, has demonstrated the feasibility of an online internship program. It argues that providing higher education students a learning-by-doing opportunity in the form of a challenge related to social development can meet the desire of students to engage in reflective learning and address some key concerns related to school development, such as the digital divide in government schools.  The internship has seen the participation of more than 800 students who have produced about 4500 videos, many with teaching manuals, to supplement Science and Math teaching in Classes 6 to 8 and language in Classes 1 to 5, and about 2500 projects in Science and Math for Classes 6 to 8. Packages prepared from this content are being distributed for offline use and on google drive via e-mail. (Project completed) (Vijaya Sherry Chand)

(Kathan Shukla & Vijaya Sherry Chand)

School climate is one of the most consistent predictors of academic achievement, psychological wellbeing in students, and dropout rates. The concept of school climate presents a useful mechanism for driving large-scale school system reform. However, it is highly sensitive to social context. Most measures of school climate have been developed and validated in the United States. This study proposes to develop and validate student, teacher, and principal versions of a school climate survey for Indian upper-primary, secondary and high schools. It would thus add to the under-developed literature on school climate in the Indian context. (Ongoing) 

(Kathan Shukla in collaboration with Prof. Catherine Bradshaw's research group at University of Virginia, US)

This study aims at examining the student and teacher perceptions of school climate in India. It proposes to examine the validity of the Maryland Safe and Supportive Schools (MDS3) School Climate Survey in an Indian context. The survey was designed based on the three domains of the US Department of Education model of school climate (AIR, 2016). The MDS3 School Climate Survey has 56 core items and prior studies have validated the three main scales: Safety, Engagement, and Environment (see Bradshaw et al., 2014 for details). More recently, the survey has also been validated internationally (e.g., in Mexico; Shukla et al., 2017), but not in India. Hence, the secondary objective of the study is to examine the factor structure of the school climate measures for Indian students and teachers using the MDS3 survey.

This study of about 6700 children seeks to examine under-studied relationships between teacher innovative behavior and the development of non-cognitive competencies of children in the public schooling system.  (Project completed, academic output under preparation) (Kathan Shukla, Vishal Gupta and Vijaya Sherry Chand)

The quality of teacher interaction with children is known to impact academic outcomes through multiple pathways. Student engagement with academic tasks is one such mediator between teacher interaction and academic performance. In the Indian context there are no rigorous studies of this relationship. Our initial studies show that though the measures currently used to assess quality of teacher interaction in western contexts may be unsuitable for India, the negative dimensions of teacher interaction may be reliably measured. This study therefore studies the relationship between negative teacher interaction and student engagement. (Project completed, academic output under preparation) (Vishal Gupta, Kathan Shukla and Vijaya Sherry Chand)

This project, coordinated by Prof. Ankur Sarin, was included in the mandate of the RJMCEI on July 1, 2014. Time frame: Ongoing

This project aimed at developing capabilities to deliver and evaluate professional development using online interactive methods for grade levels 3 to 5 (age group 8 to 10) among a team of educational staff of the Government of Gujarat. The program focused on Gujarati language, Math, Environment Science, Hindi and English, in addition to classroom transactions and student-teacher interaction, and on designing methodologies to give feedback to teachers for improving performance. It was completed in January 2020. (Project completed) (Vijaya Sherry Chand)

Assessment of Activity-based Learning and evolving a professional development curriculum for ABL teachers based on blended-learning approaches. The project also involves the development of a repository of material for online use. (Project completed, academic output under preparation) (Vijaya Sherry Chand)

In the context of the increasing role of the private sector and the potentially adverse consequences of inequalities in access and quality of schooling, section 12(1)(c) of the RTE Act mandates the reservation of at least 25% of the seats for socially and economically disadvantaged at the entry level (either pre-primary or grade 1) in non-minority private unaided schools. Despite all the publicity, the evidence of the effect of section 12(1)(c) on children's access to 'better' schools, their educational experience, and their educational and  life outcomes remains patchy. This research proposes to answer some of these questions through rigorous primary data collection by creating household level panel data focusing on socially and economically disadvantaged households in Ahmedabad. (Ankur Sarin & Ambrish Dongre)

Staging Enabled