Sudha Govindswamy

Location: United Arab Emirates

Area of expertise provided as part of the CIS Affiliated Consultant Network:
  • Appraisal and Professional Development
  • Curriculum Design and Delivery

Dr. Sudha Govindswamy (Sunder) specializes in school improvement through focused professional development and building leadership capacity by empowering teacher leaders. The founder and executive director of Teacher Leaders International, her work with international educators—both International Baccalaureate (IB) and American curriculum schools—spans over nine countries including the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Bangkok, India, Egypt, and the United States.

Experienced and knowledgeable in strategic planning and development, she has been involved in various capacities to support international schools for accreditation such as the Council of International Schools (CIS), Middle States Association (MSA), International Baccalaureate (IB), and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). She has supported and worked with senior leadership teams in international schools to develop and implement their strategic plan towards school improvement. She has also worked extensively on leading the preparations for school inspection visits from the Knowledge and Human Development Authority in Dubai—particularly focusing on the Quality Indicators for Curriculum and Teaching and Learning.

Dr. Sunder is also a certified Curriculum and Instruction consultant from the Lynn Erickson Institute. She has been commissioned by the International Baccalaureate to develop the Relationship Study Report on the IB and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). She has also served as a curriculum reviewer for the IB Americas in a pilot project called “Building a Quality Curriculum” in which she provided feedback on written curriculum documents for IB schools. As a certified Apple Distinguished Educator and SMART Exemplary Educator, she has led many technology initiatives. Launching the school-wide Learning Management System and Curriculum Mapping Tools (Atlas Rubicon), iPad beyond the ‘bells-and whistles’ are some examples.

She defended her doctoral dissertation at the University of Bath with Professor Jeff Thompson and Professor David Phillips from Oxford. She believes that clearing the same with no further recommendations for corrections or modifications stands testimony to the very many voices and experiences of teachers that she has gathered over the years through her work as a curriculum consultant and teacher coach.

Sudha presented her research findings in 2015 at the American Association for the Advancement of Curriculum Studies (AAACS) at George Washington University, and has around 25 conferences papers to her credit. A strong proponent of equity in education, Sudha has now been invited to serve as a member of the AAACs Task Force. The Task Force strives to translate curriculum studies work outside of North America, particularly to highlight curriculum work from the diaspora that are not in the mainstream. She is currently involved in a research project “Intercultural Studies in New Teacher Education—From Classroom Teacher to Teacher Educator”. This research project, in collaboration with teacher educators in England and West Indies, seeks to explore and capture critical insights and experiences of beginning teacher educators from Jamaica, England, and the Middle East. This research will be published (as a part of an edited series) by Palgrave Macmillan. More about Dr. Sunder’s school improvement partnerships is available here:

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