The Banyan Academy’s Commitment to Practice-Informed Learning
One of the founding philosophies of the Academy is its emphasis on practical pedagogy for students in the masters and diploma courses. The Academy firmly believes that life experiences and learning by doing will result in permanent knowledge and has appointed clinicians, advocates, and experiential experts who actively engage in care provision, policy development, and model building as teaching faculty. The richness of their experience highlights the discrepancies against complex needs that exist in the current policies.
They promote research that helps solve problems and inspire young learners to broaden their horizons, build perspectives, and plunge into meaningful activity. We hope to build leaders who will ask the tough questions, stand for what they believe in, and not disengage from seemingly intractable problems.
Message from The Director, Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS)
From its inception in 1936, the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) has constantly evolved as an educational ecosystem where students learn to ideate, innovate, and translate their learning to initiate change in society. Our academic programs offered in collaboration with The Banyan Academy of Leadership in Mental Health (BALM) are part of that rich and ever-evolving ecosystem. The unique pedagogy that The Academy pioneered, involving experiential, immersive learning, bridging the gap between theory and practice upholds the vision of TISS and co-creates the potential to positively impact the lives of those relegated to the margins.
In the academic year, 2019-2020, with its fifth batch of postgraduate students, TISS-BALM further deepened its focus on practice-informed learning, developing teaching innovation that involved direct application of theory in practice, and transdisciplinary integration. Students at TISS-BALM are encouraged to challenge the status quo of power structures, develop an acute awareness of inequities and espouse action and responsiveness as key values over all else. It has been encouraging to see this mode of education receive due to interest and attention from prospective students, as evinced by a steady increase in applications for the program.
Prof. Shalini Bharat, Director, Tata Institute of Social Sciences
Many of our students are working in remote and low resource settings as psychologists, clinical social workers, mental health advocates, and academicians. About 37% of the students are currently placed in organizations for mental health including The Banyan and The Banyan Academy. Nearly 23% have opted for further education like Tata Institute of Social Sciences and 3% teach masters level students across colleges in India.