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    It was August of the year 1856. Summer was turning to autumn in Elberfeld, a small town in western Germany. Johann Carl Fuhlrott, a teacher   Read More ...

    For over a decade, Finnish 15 year olds have consistently featured among the top performers in the OECD Programme for International Assessment (PISA). As a   Read More ...

    Did you know: Texture, which we use in phrases such as this cloth has a fine texture to refer to how it ‘feels’ against our skin, derives   Read More ...

    Some words, as a friend recently remarked, are delicately descriptive – they do not merely carry a ‘meaning’ but a lot more. Unfortunately, it becomes   Read More ...

    An edited version of this article was published in Teacher Plus magazine (April, 2015 issue) under the title Understanding Peace Through Social Science.   The   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   Read More ...

    “While [the children] may not be physically punished…a strong message is communicated to them that if they want to be accepted by the teacher and   Read More ...

    alternate-education

    Reflections on Digantar’s Journey: Rohit Dhankar

    Digantar, as a school, started in 1978 and was registered as an organization in 1989. So I cannot tell you everything that Digantar did or   Read More ...

    sustainability-education

    The Man Who Planted Trees: Jadav Payeng

    In our urgency to ‘achieve results’ (or, in reality, perhaps to ‘show results’ to others) we often tend to forget the miracles that slow, consistent   Read More ...

    In 15 sentences and 20 beautifully illustrated pages, There you go! by Oren Ginzburg brings out the absurdity of many of our attempts to bring ‘sustainable development’ to tribal communities/aborigines around the world. As Lodu Sikaka from India’s Dongria Kondh tribe says “It’s crazy when these outsiders come and teach us development. Is development possible by destroying the environment that provides us food, water and dignity? You have to pay to take   Read More ...

    Just before the 2nd Philosophy of Education Conference hosted by Azim Premji University, in May 2014, I received an email from Prakash asking if we could conduct a set of interviews with the speakers at the conference. Though I was initially unsure, one thing led to another and I am glad that Jagjot, Prakash and I finally did manage to do a series of interviews with speakers such as Stephen H.   Read More ...

    School curriculum in ancient Greece was divided into three categories: writing, music and gymnastics. At the age of six, the child was enrolled in a school run by a professional schoolmaster. The day typically started with classes on writing, reading and arithmetic. This was followed by a music class in which he learnt how to play the lyre and set famous poems to music. Thereafter, he would visit the gymnasium   Read More ...

    The main elements of the western education system are: one, there must be institutional learning – within the school, within the college. Learning within the institution is legitimate – authentic. Learning outside is not authentic because I don’t know what you have learnt. So there is a stamp of authority on learning that is expected in the education system in the West. Second: we must give you that kind of   Read More ...

    Did you know: Texture, which we use in phrases such as this cloth has a fine texture to refer to how it ‘feels’ against our skin, derives from the Latin word texere, which means, to weave. Texture is also sometimes used more broadly to mean ‘distinctive quality’, as in the texture of life in an Indian village; or pattern, as in, the texture of his music.           Texere and   Read More ...

    The Oxford English Dictionary (1989) defines critique as “a detailed analysis and assessment of something, especially a literary, philosophical, or political theory”. As opposed to ‘criticism’, critique thus carries a connotation of ‘neutrality’, and therefore, a well-balanced critique would rightly be expected to present both sides (strengths as well as weaknesses), of the subject under consideration. In this paper however, I focus only on what I see as the weaknesses   Read More ...

    Do the standards of morality that a person adheres to, depend on the society that s/he is a part of? Or are these standards independent of the individual’s social context? Where does an individual’s moral-framework come from? And what makes some people ‘adjust’ their moral-code in the face of adversity and certain others, to risk their lives to uphold them? “In 1942, amidst inexplicable evil and destruction, a small group   Read More ...

    Reading, scientific and mathematical literacies are considered essential for full participation in the modern ‘knowledge societies’ (OECD, 2009). And of the three literacies, reading literacy is considered especially important as it forms the ‘bed-rock’ on which other forms of literacies are formed. Scientific research on ‘reading education’, thus, expectedly, has had a long history in developed nations; and in the United States, in particular, the government has spent millions of   Read More ...

    An academic journal is a periodical, often peer-reviewed, which publishes scholarly work related to one or a few academic disciplines. Though the nature and type of work published in academic journals vary significantly, they often include original articles on recent empirical research in the relevant disciplines, theoretical discussions as well as reviews of published academic work. Academic Journals have for long played a central part in scholarly communities. Schafner (1994),   Read More ...

    Prof. Jayashree Ramadas is the centre director of Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education. She did her M.Sc from IIT Kanpur and her Ph. D. from HBCSE. Pulled into the role of teacher-educator as a graduate student, at HBCSE, she got interested in students’ ways of thinking about science concepts and also had a chance to explore this field in more detail during her post-doctoral work at Leeds and Chelsea   Read More ...

    Dr. Anandan has been working in the area of language education, especially English-language education in India, for close to two decades. He did his PhD from CIEFL, Hyderabad and then went on to develop a number of language teaching-learning programs such as Second Language Acquisition Program and Rapid Acquisition of Competence in English. He has been a consultant to SSA, Kerala for many years; and was also a special invitee   Read More ...

    Did you know: Prolific comes from French prolifique, which is in turn derived from Latin proles (progeny or offspring) + root of facere (to make). A prolific artist, thus, is one who makes/produces many works of art and prolific growth signifies abundant growth. From the same root we also get the word proliferate (multiply, grow fast), which is used in sentences such as ‘International security and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction were discussed in the meeting.   Read More ...

    The story of humankind and its progression through the ages is a fascinating one; and language, one of humankind’s ‘bosom friends’, has been a constant witness to the unfolding of this tale – in fact, not merely has it witnessed the story, but it has played a key role in it – heavily influencing and being influenced by (wo)men and their musings, of different ages and times. I have for   Read More ...

    A day-long workshop on setting up and using libraries effectively was facilitated by Usha Mukunda and her team on day II of Kathavana, 2013, . The workshop adopted a question-answer format for discussions (eliciting and building on the attendees’ responses and current knowledge); and spent significant time on hands-on activities, which, though done in groups of 5-6 were remarkably participative. The objective of the workshop was to discuss, and learn how   Read More ...

    As someone interested in ancient history, I have often noticed – and marveled – at the similarities and differences between the many ancient civilizations. The Maya Civilization, ancient Egyptian Civilization, ancient Indian Civilization, ancient Chinese Civilization, as well as the ancient Greek and Roman Civilizations (though similar at some basic levels, also) showed remarkable differences. Not just in the way that they constructed their buildings and built their cities; or   Read More ...

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