The Blog of Cafe Dissensus Magazine – we DISSENT

Posts from the ‘The School Project’ category

My School – My Mission

By Ajay Balhra
I never imposed any decision of mine on my staff or students. I always wanted them to feel as if they have taken that particular decision for their betterment and this feeling, I believe, makes them more accountable and committed to achieve their targets.

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Homeschooling: A Shift in Perception and A Way of Life

By Sonnal Pardiwala
What made us at ease was the outlook of these parents – instead of judging their kids through the eyes of a teacher or through their own notions of what the child “should do,” they focused on actually taking a peek into who their child was. If he/she does not like reading Hindi, maybe he does not. If he does not like a certain math problem, he does not. This philosophy says “the child does have a right to not like something. Does he have to be compelled and made guilty for getting it done?”

A “teacher, but not trained”: David Horsburgh and the Neel Bagh Experiment

By Sachin Tiwari
A unique feature at the school was the question hour, where students would gather and raise questions that came to their mind. These sessions were not structured with a purpose to “teach” the children but were designed to work with observations made by the children themselves. Thus curiosity served as a point of entry and inquiry into a larger area of concern for everyone.

Digantar: A Glimpse at an Alternative Approach to Education

By Riti Das Dhankar
Every step that leads towards an unconventional path is met with impediments and speculations. It is easy to gain support for an established idea but not for an alternative one. A school that debunks the idea of classrooms and has groups where every child is at a different level is not something that would go down well with parents, whose idea of a school is one where the teacher writes on the blackboard and every child in the classroom is at the same level.

Adharshila Shikshan Kendra: Reconstituting Possibilities for Adivasi Children

By Karishma Desai
Adharshila has thoughtfully embedded local Adivasi political ecological knowledge in curricula and overall school practices. For example, in one curricular inquiry project, students collect folk tales from their own villages and analyze relations between self, community, nature, and world. In another unit, students collect oral histories from village elders to understand why the arid mountain behind their school community was called Reech (bear), considering it did not represent an environment that bears would live in.