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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 ...

    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 ...

    KathaVana is a Children’s Literature Festival organised annually by the Azim Premji University, Bangalore since 2012. This year, in 2014, it is being held between September 10th and 13th. As the event brochure notes: The emergence of contemporary children’s literature in India as a genre of significance to publishers, authors and illustrators is promising; but much still needs to be done both in terms of raising awareness about the role of children’s   Read More ...

    While pictures and videos can sometimes over-simplify and fail to capture the nuances, this simplicity can at times convey a point more effectively and be more hard-hitting than dozens of belaboring books on the subject. This short animation tries to present the absurdity of humans and their lives, in relation to the environment.

    Vir, in Latin, refers to a man and virilis to being manly or worthy of a man. This root later evolved into virile and virility in English, which has come to refer to ‘masculine characteristics’ such as strength and vigour (esp sexual) and is now also sometimes used in expressions such as a virile and healthy nation or virile leadership to mean energetic or potent. Interestingly, we find वीर्  (and वीरयते which means to be powerful   Read More ...

    Astronomy is one of the oldest sciences concerned with the study of planets, stars, galaxies & other celestial objects and phenomena. From time immemorial the night sky has fascinated many cultures in the past including the Indians, Babylonians, Egyptians, Chinese & the Greeks and it continues to fascinate us even today. An opportunity of observing them with telescopes is quite an exciting and exhilarating experience. How about observing these objects   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 nigh impossible for someone who has not grown-up in the particular cultural milieu in which those words originated and were originally used, to understand them fully. Gau-dhuli (गो-धूली) – a word that used to be common in many Indian languages, seems to me, to be   Read More ...

    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 ...

    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 ...

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