Session 2 | Practice : Experiments in alternative education

Speakers: Anju Musafir, Supriya Joshi, Deepa Avashia, Santhya Vikram

The next session excavates efforts to redefine conventional schooling practices both within the framework of established learning sites, and outside of it. Drawing from a rich tradition of alternative educational practices in India, the session will be a conversation with practitioners in the alternative education space. The session will also seek to examine the scope of key experiments in addressing the key hallenges within the education sector. From the Rishi Valley model of education based on the philosophy of Jiddu Krishnamurti, M K Gandhi’s experiments with Nai Taleem, Rabindranath Tagore’s vision of antiniketan, Sri Aurobindo’s efforts to imbue cosmopolitan spiritualism in school curriculum, alongside western models like Sudbury and Waldorf. The conference will also highlight indigenous stand-alone alternative education models from obscure corners of the country, to address how models of non-traditional education function for children from different sections of society.

Anju Musafir

Anju Musafir is the co-founder and director of the Mahatma Gandhi International School(MGIS), a K-12 International Baccalaureate school. MGIS is student-centric and functions on democratic principles of self-governance. Children learn through purposeful projects connected to their real life. Anju is passionate about learning and works with different age groups at school across diverse projects.

MGIS follows a triadic structure of research, schooling, and teacher training. The school houses a Center for Action Research in Education (CARE) which is the site for action research projects in the field of education that drive the teacher training center and the classroom pedagogy at MGIS. Anju is a Doctoral researcher in education at King’s College, London. Currently, she is devoting her time to learn and spread techniques for expansion of human consciousness in school education, which she feels is the way forward towards human empowerment.

Supriya Joshi

Supriya Joshi is a co-founder of Swashikshan, the Indian Association of Homeschoolers. After completing her Master in Computer Applications, she decided to pursue her passion in developing innovative learning methods. She is the mother and facilitator of Malvika Joshi, who is pursuing her under-graduation from MIT without a class 12 mark-sheet. Ms Joshi is currently working for street children at Shelter Don Bosco as an Education Coordinator. She has been awarded with the Navashakti Award for her work in Education.

Deepa Avashia

Deepa Avashia is a school leader (also known as the Questologist) with the Riverside School, Ahmedabad.

Over the last 17 years, Riverside has designed, implemented and shared a unique user centred curriculum that is providing schools with an alternative model which focuses on quality of learning AND student well being. The model known as ‘Design for Change’, uses a simple 4 step design framework – FIDS (Feel, Imagine, Do, Share) to cultivate the I CAN Mind-set in all children. Riverside has worked with schools to adapt this model to different economic and cultural contexts making it possible for children all around the world to experience this user centred method. Today, DFC is the world's largest movement of change - of and by children, and is in 60+ countries—impacting over 2.2 million children and 65,000 Teachers.

Santhya Vikram

Santhya Vikram is the founder and managing director of the Yellow Train School, Coimbatore. Yellow Train is a progressive school inspired by the philosophy of Rudolf Steiner. The school is also influenced by the thinking of thinkers including Shri Aurobindo and Rabindranath Tagore. Located in an organic farm on the outskirts of Coimbatore, the school is a growing community of teachers and parents in search of unhurried childhood and holistic education. The academic program is intensive and creative aiming at excellence. The in-depth and rich IGCSE curriculum is accentuated by the artistic and nourishing element of Waldorf Education. Free thinking, responsible and skilled young individuals is the school's promise.