Sanjay Nanwani


Sanjay is from India, though he was born in Morocco and raised in Spain.

He holds a BSc in Marketing and International Business and an MA in Applied Linguistics. He is a doctoral student in education at Universidad de Los Andes, Colombia, and currently a visiting fellow at the Harvard Graduate School of Education in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

His research focuses on Democratic Citizenship Education (DCE) in 5th grade classrooms of urban schools in marginalized, displaced and predominantly afro-descendent communities of Cali (Colombia), characterized by high levels of violence. His study parts from three foundational premises: first, DCE is a complex enterprise which cannot be limited to knowledge acquisition and value formation, but must also integrate the development of both democratic skills and democratic dispositions; second, democracy and democratic citizenship are not so much formally learnt, but actually lived and cultivated in action through daily interactions; third, DCE is most effective when learners are guided by teachers whose practices are democratic in themselves on one hand, and when learners are exposed to democratic climates on the other. These three premises point to a conception of democratic citizenship that is practiced rather than given, thereby recognizing the agency of children, not as future citizens ‘in the making’, but as citizens in their own right.

Beyond teaching language courses (English and Spanish) in Andhra Pradesh (working closely with Dalit communities), New Delhi, and Colombia, he has worked with Lund University in Swedish International Development Agency sponsored child rights education projects in Colombia, Guatemala and Bolivia primarily. He has presented his work in different venues, including the Association of Moral Education Conferences held in Brazil and more recently in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

He feels fortunate to be part of the Externado University, where he has taught since 2006.