eklavyabooks की गपशप ...

सितम्बर-अक्टूबर 2017

Teaching is not about feeding fixed information to students but this is the reality of traditional schools today.

So where should we start looking for alternatives to address this challenge?

One of the answers is ‘alternative/democratic’ schools, a term not easy to define. Broadly speaking, alternative schools are education establishments following nontraditional curriculum and teaching-learning methods. While some of them have strong political, scholarly or philosophical orientations, others are created simply when parents, teachers and students unhappy with the traditional way of schooling come together to try build something more meaningful.

There are many alternative schools around the world that have successfully put in place democratic practices as guides to their curriculum. Free at Last – The Sudbury Valley School by Daniel Greenberg and Democratic Schools by Michel W Apple & James A Beane are two books that capture their essence.

In Democratic Schools it is given how educators in four schools have committed themselves to preparing students for the democratic way of life. Editors Michael Apple and James Beane have gathered narratives given by the educators who have actually put them into practice. Central Park East Secondary School, the Rindge School of Technical Arts, Marquette Middle School, and La Escuela Fratney are the four institutions that remind us schools play an important role in laying a foundation for children’s future in a democratic society. Standing as living models of egalitarian principles in action, these schools help young people comprehend the meaning of active citizenship and teach them the knowledge and skills they need to sustain and empower democracy.

Free at Last is about an alternative school, Sudbury Valley, started by a group of parents who wanted their children to be free to choose what they wanted to study. Quoting from the introduction, "Some learn best from teachers or other students, others learn best by themselves." Active exploration by children is the key feature there. Teachers are mere facilitators when the child needs them.

These are all places where democratic principles are put into practice, with full respect for children and adults alike. Their accounts challenge the notions of teaching and education. A school without a curriculum and where students purposefully take charge of their own learning is hard to imagine.

Apart from these two, Eklavya’s title collection has books like समरहिल (also available in English as Summerhill), जश्न-ए-तालीम (in Hindi) and its English version Never A Dull Moment, शिक्षा के बजाय, and quite a few more, to not only present a picture of how people have already taken concrete steps to solve the modern-day challenges in education around the world, but to also start a dialogue amongst ourselves on the same.

We recommend these books to teachers, parents, educationalists and anyone interested about alternative teaching-learning methodologies.

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जब पुरुषों ने किया शिकार, तब महिलाओं ने क्‍या किया?

इस चित्रकथा में पाषाणकालीन शैलचित्रों के ज़रिए उस समय की महिलाओं की भूमिकाओं की पड़ताल की गई है।

जब महिलाओं ने शिकार किया, तब पुरुषों ने क्‍या किया?

मध्‍यकालीन शिल्‍पों में महिला शिकारी दिखाई देती हैं और साथ ही उनसे सम्‍बन्धित कहानियां भी। इस चित्रकथा में महिला शिकारी की इन कहानियों को दर्ज किया गया है।

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