Archive for July, 2014

    Some parents really struggle. Like, “All the other kids have the terrible thing. So my kid has to have…No, let your kid go and be a better example to the other %^$# kids. Just because other stupid kids have phone doesn’t mean – “Well okay my kid has to be stupid otherwise she will feel weird.” You know, I think these things [mobile phones] are toxic, especially  for kids. It’s just this thing   Read More ...

    The Living Corporation Reflections on a new corporate philosophy Azim Premji Last week, there was debate on whether for-profit businesses should be allowed to establish schools. During the debate, I was surprised by the strongly negative view that many people in the social sector have of corporates. Since these opinions were expressed by people I respect, I felt compelled to reflect on the nature of the modern business corporation. Today’s   Read More ...

    Elizabeth Rata is an Associate Professor in the School of Critical Studies in Education, University of Auckland. She was invited earlier this year, by the Azim Premji Foundation and University to present a paper titled Epistemic Knowledge and Democratic Politics in the 2nd International Seminar on Philosophy of Education, as well as to give to give public lectures and hold interactive sessions on the politics of knowledge in education. Following is the transcript of   Read More ...

    The two years that I spent at the Azim Premji University were challenging and satisfying – and are fondly remembered. I was asked to speak to the batch of 2013 on their first day; and continue to receive queries about the university from prospective and new students. Below is the transcript of the talk that I had shared with the 2013 batch. It gives a summary of my experience there;   Read More ...

    While Joseph Rudyard Kipling is often remembered for his two Jungle Books and his poems, not many know that he also published a delightful collection of pourquoi stories titled, Just So Stories for Little Children. Kipling is said to have invented these stories as ingenious explanations of questions such as ‘How the Rhinoceros Got His Skin’ or ‘How the Leopard Got His Spots’ for his young daughters and their friends – to   Read More ...

    Everything’s amazing right now and nobody is happy. In my life-time the changes in the world have been incredible. When I was a kid we had a rotary phone. We had a phone that you had to stand next to. And you had to dial it. Do you realize how primitive (that is) – you are making sparks in a phone. And you actually hated people with zeroes in their numbers. If you   Read More ...

    Progressive educators often lament the ‘culture of rote learning’ that prevail in Indian schools and class-rooms. The National Curriculum Framework, 2005 for instance, notes “Tasks that are…repetitive and mechanical, that are based on recalling the text, that do not permit self-expression and questioning by the child and that depend solely on the teacher for correction, make the child assume the passive stance of obedience. Learners learn not to value their   Read More ...

    Categories: Creativity

    An edited version of this article was published in Teacher Plus magazine (April, 2015 issue) under the title Understanding Peace Through Social Science.   The centrality of peace for the present and future of humankind has received wide recognition over the last few decades. The United Nations Resolution 53/25 (1998), for instance, declared the period 2001-2010 as the ‘International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children   Read More ...

    Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore is most well known as a poet. However, he was also a remarkable short-story writer, dramatist and novelist, author of essays and lectures, philosopher, composer and singer, innovator in education and rural development, actor, director, painter and cultural ambassador. He wrote over 4000 letters between 1878 and 1941 to – besides family members, estate workers and Shantiniketan associates – literary greats, poets such as W. B.   Read More ...

    Education for girls and women has been an important focus area for governments and policy makers in many developing nations, in the last few decades. Starting in the mid-1980s, especially after the framing of the National Policy of Education, 1986, the Indian government too initiated a number of measures to improve girls’ education in the country. This paper reviews the present status of the participation of children in school education   Read More ...

    Categories: Educational Policy

    He has been called “the Rousseau of the 20th century” (Bhattacharya 2008: 101), “the John Dewey of the present era” (Kanpol 1997: 13) and “the most important educator” (Carnoy 2004: 7) of the second half of the 20th century”.[1] His book, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, termed a “classic” and “a seminal work”, has been translated into numerous languages and has sold over 1 million copies; and as per a study   Read More ...

    Categories: Book Review, Reviews

    Anand Niketan, Wardha is a remarkable school. Run in the same premises where Gandhi started an experiment in education in 1937, it draws inspiration from his educational philosophy; and is playing a leading role today in redefining Nai Taleem (also called Basic Education or Buniyadi Shiksha) within the purview of modern curricular and Boards' requirements. What follows is an interview with Sushma Sharma, who was instrumental in restarting the school in 2005 and continues to lead its growth and development today.

    Categories: Alternate Education

    Textbooks have historically been seen as storehouse of information and knowledge. Their ‘over-use’ however, has also drawn heavy criticism in the recent past from many educators who see textbooks as ‘being closed, stifling creativity, leading to teachers’ lack of autonomy and promoting an emaciated view of knowledge’. In this provocative talk, Rohit Dhankar, Professor of Philosophy at Azim Premji University, Bangalore attempts to distinguish between understanding, information and knowledge and   Read More ...

    Anand Niketan, Wardha is a remarkable school. Run in the same premises where Gandhi started an experiment in education in 1937, it draws inspiration from his educational philosophy; and is playing a leading role today in redefining  Nai Taleem (also called Basic Education or Buniyadi Shiksha) within the purview of modern curricular and Boards’ requirements. What follows is an interview with Sushma Sharma, who was instrumental in restarting  the school in   Read More ...

    Categories: Alternate Education

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