Pedagooogy 3000 and emAne
Last year India elected Narendra Modi as Prime Minister, a ray of hope for many Indians who see in him as the change that is to come. This is a video of Modi giving a speech in front of thousands of people in Central Park, New York. A rock star! :)
If you ask any Indian parent, from a mogul to a rickshaw driver, they will say people In India save money for two things: their children’s wedding and their education.
Education in India is still mostly seen only for the sake of certificates that will later lead to “good jobs”, there are a wealth of private initiatives around the county (and it IS a big country) that are deeply concerned with providing an education rooted in human values, rather than one that leads solely to “intellectual monsters” - people who are brilliantly intelligent, but function only from their minds, not at all from their hearts.
We were privileged enough to be able to visit a few schools in Bangalore, one of the biggest cities in the South of India, and also one of the most active in terms of initiatives for a new education.
For your reference, this is a list of alternative schools across India:
The schools we visited in Bangalore were:
"To love one's children is to be in complete communication with them: it is to see that they have the right kind of education that will help them to be sensitive, intelligent and integrated".
From Education And The Significance Of Life by J Krishnamurti
The Valley School, one of the 4 in India and 6 in the world based on Krishnamurti’s teachings. Comfortably located just outside the city, as to avoid the business of the metropolis, but also close enough to allow for daily commute, The Valley School is a day school that provides education for 6 to 17 years of age.
The school is set in a beautiful location, with lots of greenery and open spaces, specially designed to allow for an Art Village (where the children up to grade 8 spend 1 of the 5 days they are in school, exploring everything from painting to drumming to dance or local arts and crafts), for courts for various sports, and also open spaces where the students can get in touch with nature or even enjoy a literature class under the shade of a tree.
What we loved about this school was:
Besides the daily activities with the students, the school also hosts periodic retreats for parents and visitors, along with a Study Centre open to all, and various summer camps.
More information about the school:http://www.thevalleyschool.info
Art of Living, of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Bangladore The main meditation building
From left to right: Dipesh (Dipesh designs board games for children in Singapore), Noemi, Mrs. Mallika Krishna and Iunia Mallika Krishna is in charge of the 431 rural schools of Art of living in India. Bravo!
Youth Empowerment Seminars
More than 30 years of Holistic Education to rural children in India
Where parents start their own school!
At Abheek Academy, we were inspired by what we see as the major propeller of the new education, which is grassroots movements that spring up from the parents’ need to provide their children with more than just factory-like education.
“As the father of a 4 year old, I look around me and get scared when I see how we are producing machines”. That is how Mangalesh Joshi, after contemplating home schooling, decided to close his business and open an unstructured school centered around human values (and he emphasizes “not Indian, not religious or language based, but human values”). He feels that the main purpose of education is to allow the child to flower and grow up as an intelligent, creative, integrated and good human being.
“To sit in front of the teacher and listen is not the human nature of the child”. That is why his idea of an educational environment is one which, even though he did not use those words, is based around the principles of Open Space, in which the children choose what they want to learn at each point, and the teachers act as guides and support. Peer teaching is an integral part of the process, as is being in nature and following’s the child natural rhythm of development.
Mangalesh has gotten his inspiration from Krishnamurti’s teachings, and sees education as “a living things, it keeps growing and developing”.
On his website, Flowering of Goodness, he shares more of this philosophy and vision for the world.
At Abheek Academy unstructured school centered around human values Interview to the Director, Mangalesh Joshi Learn With Fun! Use What You Have!
Parikrma Foundation started out of a woman’s credo that every child, regardless of background, has to have access to fair and equal education. That is why the foundation’s target are the underprivileged children who would otherwise never have a chance at higher education.
The focus of the foundation is to bring up “global citizens”, hence the school actively teaches both Hindi and English. Before catering for the intellect, the Parikrma schools take care of the children’s nutrition and health, while also focusing on values and life skills.
Sports play an important part, being both a therapy tool and a way to boost the children's confidence and self esteem.
The teachers do not rely on books, but continuously strive to make learning interactive and fun. There is an integration of traditional and modern, where students could be sitting on the floor and working on their tablets. “We need citizens, not consumers”, Mrs Shukla Bose, the main force behind Parikrama, tells us.
“We believe that to be spiritual is more important than to be religious”, she adds.
The foundation also takes care of the families of the students, out of which 90% come from an alcoholic background. The parents are actively involved and supported, the focus being again on creating a community around the child, as opposed to educating him/her in isolation.
The “Personal growth lab” is another unique feature of the Parikrama schools, where the development of the teachers is paramount.More information about the work done by Parikrama:
. Schools “for and with” the community, with useful tools for the daily life of the community, and also inner development and values.
. Grassroots initiatives are the driving force of a new education worldwide.
. School must combine with inner growth and solidarity.
. Schools can transform themselves as vanguard centre, wherever they are, showing new paradigms to people... mainly through example and fun, and also useful activities.
. In difficult situation (for instance unprivileged zones or refugees camps) use ports and physical exercises as a therapy tool.
. Do not drink too much Jaljeera (see below)... it is joke!.
Other great inspiration we got from India
The superb work of Roy Bunker - Barefoot College - http://www.ted.com/talks/bunker_roy?language=en
Sanjit "Bunker" Roy (born 2 August 1945) is an Indian social activist and educator who founded the Barefoot College. He was selected as one of Time 100's 100 most influential personalities in 2010 for his work in educating illiterate and semi literate rural Indians
Sugatra Mitra - http://www.ted.com/talks/sugata_mitra_build_a_school_in_the_cloud?language=en
In 1999, Mitra and his colleagues dug a hole in a wall bordering an urban slum in New Delhi, installed an Internet-connected PC, and left it there (with a hidden camera filming the area). What they saw was kids from the slum playing around with the computer and in the process learning how to use it and how to go online, and then teaching each other.
Other things not to be missed in India:
Jaljeera Spicy beverage So spicy that you get high!
A “refreshing” drink made with lots of spices - it definitely wakes your brain up in an instant
At Bangladore airport
Being spoiled by people’s hospitality and amazing cooking
This newsletter has been kindly redacted by Iunia Pascua
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Thethree tours of 2015 will cover more than 33 countries with the themes of a new integral Education and Peace Culture, raising awareness with the new needs of nowadays education, and promoting concretepedagogical solutions. The purposes of the tours are:
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2014 Pedagooogía 3000 ®