Prakriti Initiative

From Founder's desk:


“When students were asked whether they have ever been bored in class, 83percent of NAIS students answered that they were bored sometimes (50percent) or often (33percent), compared with 86 percent of public-school students (36percent) were bored sometimes; 50percent were bored often) – HSSSE report 2016.”

Pramod Maithil

Founder

This statement is just to bring the issue that significant numbers of students are disengaged in schools.

Allow me to state:

1.���“Schools are not academically attractive places for children”.

2.���“The fact is “children don't enjoy the way their education is done”.

I made some attempt to respond to this issue with my capacity and have wonderful insights and learning. I am going to discuss this and an innovative methodology took shape from these experiences with children and my insights. Since the evolution was part of my personal trajectory as well so allow me to briefly connect to my journey to set a background for.

Initial 12 years as Researcher and Teacher: I got the opportunity to work with well-known organizations in the education domain Eklevya, MP and Sahyadri School (KFI ) Pune as research associate and teacher.

By this time my daughter was 4 year old and her schooling was a big discussion in my family, interestingly my relatives were more worried about it. I was happy with the way my child was growing, not fully confident with the way early schools function around.

As an Entrepreneur since 2011: During the first 15 years of the learning phase, I started dreaming to establish a progressive school. This was the right situation to push it hard. Fortunately all aspects such as resources and people came in place and I started the school named Anand Niketan Democratic School (ANDS).

ANDS was a non-conventional school, attempting to develop the democratic education model to achieve inclusion in schools and create a pedagogical alternative for elementary school education. After three successful years, I have documented the learning journey in a book named ‘School for My Child 2 ' by Partridge (Penguin).

This documentation process led me to hypothesize the ‘Natural learning Model'. The term ‘Natural (autonomous) learning' is already a part of different education discourses. I realized that here, I am talking more about us as ‘how can we facilitate Natural learning', what could be our standpoint for that. This method has a set of ideas contradictory to conventional ideas of teaching learning methodology so I decided to coin an independent term by adding ‘Model' in Natural learning: Natural Learning Model.


1.��Natural Learning Model


According to this, quality education in real sense can be achieved if the agency of children is given a role in their education. We need to believe in children. We require developing activities, materials, processes and let the children learn and grow according to their interest and pace, in an environment of trust, responsibility and freedom.

Can we evolve a system for which each child can have her way of doing things and learning at her pace and interest? In other words can we have a system based on individual and personalized syllabus schemes? The Natural Learning Model is an attempt to answer these questions.





A diagrammatic for the Natural Learning Model - The graphics on the left can be created just by placing uniform squares at different angles while keeping the same center. A perfect circle emerges in the middle. The focus was on the center and squares. Not on, how the circle is forming.

In terms of education, ‘aspired learning objective' relates to the bigger circle which is a by-product, and which would emerge later. We only need to focus on the center which is ‘happiness of the child' and the squares are ‘different exploration in an aspired domain'. This is, in a way an upside down approach compared to the method in contemporary schools i.e. we usually begin with learning objectives and set a curriculum then we have a syllabus and lesson plan and while teaching our interest and focus largely on, if the child is learning or not.




Few pointers of the ‘Natural Learning Model'

✓ Recognize agency of children in their education – (Their happiness is central. If they are not happy (or disengaged) they aren't learning.)

✓ ‘Learning' is a ‘by-product' of the child's efforts – (Learning to speak a language has never been an objective for a infant/toddler but communication was a need)

✓ Learning is not linear process – (Instead of isolated content, create a comprehensive environment. )

✓� 3 elements of Effective facilitation

  • Believe in children.
  • Teachers need to shift from an authoritarian role.
  • Let children make mistakes.

2. Prakriti Initiatives (PI)


I have moved ahead and started working to bring the theory of Natural Learning Model on ground. I registered the firm Prakriti Initiatives (PI). PI identifies itself as a catalyst in education and actively promotes Natural/Autonomous learning. T-LAB is PI's flagship program.


3. T-LAB: Dream yard for happiness


We facilitate creating T-LAB as a translation of the Natural learning model on ground, which becomes an attraction to children. We learn from eminent thinkers and philosophers and develop a unique design for the same.

T-LAB is a dedicated space for children's creativity. At T-LAB children freely work on their ideas and questions at their pace and interest. T-LAB acts as a niche space for children validates and recognizes children's natural creative activities. We ensure children ownership of the space by making them partner in developing the space.

T-LAB is a hub of children's dreams and ideas with a variety of resource material. T-LAB aspires to give space to children to learn and grow in an environment of trust, responsibility and freedom. It consists of different work stations and an ever-growing repository of materials. Skilled facilitators are available to suggest various dimensions of the project they are engaged in. They also help the children to improve the design and processes.

[T-LAB in School and Community: We helped them to create T-LAB inside their school.]

Each child decides her own list of things to do and her own way of doing things. T-LAB in effect works on an individual and personalized syllabus and complements the ‘textual' academics from the school with the concept of ‘doing' academics 3 .The successes and failures add on to the gradual learning process and attaining different competencies and their levels. We believe it to be Experiential Learning 4 into action truly complementing school's learning. It enables achieving important personal and social values 5 , such as self-reliance, creativity cooperation, critical thinking, problem solving, observing and questioning. It also provides plenty of opportunities to develop their motor skills.


4.�Miniguru.in


I realized that children of different T-LABs are showing great creativity, but it is shared among limited groups. During the covid 19 lock down, Schools are attempting to go online. Children demanded for the T-LAB activities as well, I tried to explore possibilities to engage children in creative activities, inside their houses. I got a remarkable response from kids in this. I got connected with a number of children from different T-LABs. They all have collected waste and few cutting-pasting stuff and tools from their own houses and set up a dedicated corner as home T-LAB for their creative ideas and projects.

I realized that children of different T-LABs are showing great creativity, but it is shared among limited groups. During the covid 19 lock down, Schools are attempting to go online. Children demanded for the T-LAB activities as well, I tried to explore possibilities to engage children in creative activities, inside their houses. I got a remarkable response from kids in this. I got connected with a number of children from different T-LABs. They all have collected waste and few cutting-pasting stuff and tools from their own houses and set up a dedicated corner as home T-LAB for their creative ideas and projects.

With this pilot, I visualize a virtual platform for few of the T-LAB processes like currency system, planning and sharing. This gives the opportunity to connect different T-LABs together, and also open up opportunities to create individual T-LABs.

Prakriti Initiative

From Founder's desk:


“When students were asked whether they have ever been bored in class, 83percent of NAIS students answered that they were bored sometimes (50percent) or often (33percent), compared with 86 percent of public-school students (36percent) were bored sometimes; 50percent were bored often) – HSSSE report 2016.”

Pramod Maithil

Founder

This statement is just to bring the issue that significant numbers of students are disengaged in schools.

Allow me to state:

1.���“Schools are not academically attractive places for children”.

2.���“The fact is “children don't enjoy the way their education is done”.

I made some attempt to respond to this issue with my capacity and have wonderful insights and learning. I am going to discuss this and an innovative methodology took shape from these experiences with children and my insights. Since the evolution was part of my personal trajectory as well so allow me to briefly connect to my journey to set a background for.

Initial 12 years as Researcher and Teacher: I got the opportunity to work with well-known organizations in the education domain Eklevya, MP and Sahyadri School (KFI ) Pune as research associate and teacher.

By this time my daughter was 4 year old and her schooling was a big discussion in my family, interestingly my relatives were more worried about it. I was happy with the way my child was growing, not fully confident with the way early schools function around.

As an Entrepreneur since 2011: During the first 15 years of the learning phase, I started dreaming to establish a progressive school. This was the right situation to push it hard. Fortunately all aspects such as resources and people came in place and I started the school named Anand Niketan Democratic School (ANDS).

ANDS was a non-conventional school, attempting to develop the democratic education model to achieve inclusion in schools and create a pedagogical alternative for elementary school education. After three successful years, I have documented the learning journey in a book named ‘School for My Child 2 ' by Partridge (Penguin).

This documentation process led me to hypothesize the ‘Natural learning Model'. The term ‘Natural (autonomous) learning' is already a part of different education discourses. I realized that here, I am talking more about us as ‘how can we facilitate Natural learning', what could be our standpoint for that. This method has a set of ideas contradictory to conventional ideas of teaching learning methodology so I decided to coin an independent term by adding ‘Model' in Natural learning: Natural Learning Model.


1.��Natural Learning Model


According to this, quality education in real sense can be achieved if the agency of children is given a role in their education. We need to believe in children. We require developing activities, materials, processes and let the children learn and grow according to their interest and pace, in an environment of trust, responsibility and freedom.

Can we evolve a system for which each child can have her way of doing things and learning at her pace and interest? In other words can we have a system based on individual and personalized syllabus schemes? The Natural Learning Model is an attempt to answer these questions.


A diagrammatic for the Natural Learning Model - The graphics on the top can be created just by placing uniform squares at different angles while keeping the same center. A perfect circle emerges in the middle. The focus was on the center and squares. Not on, how the circle is forming.

In terms of education, ‘aspired learning objective' relates to the bigger circle which is a by-product, and which would emerge later. We only need to focus on the center which is ‘happiness of the child' and the squares are ‘different exploration in an aspired domain'. This is, in a way an upside down approach compared to the method in contemporary schools i.e. we usually begin with learning objectives and set a curriculum then we have a syllabus and lesson plan and while teaching our interest and focus largely on, if the child is learning or not.




Few pointers of the ‘Natural Learning Model'

✓ Recognize agency of children in their education – (Their happiness is central. If they are not happy (or disengaged) they aren't learning.)

✓ ‘Learning' is a ‘by-product' of the child's efforts – (Learning to speak a language has never been an objective for a infant/toddler but communication was a need)

✓ Learning is not linear process – (Instead of isolated content, create a comprehensive environment. )

✓� 3 elements of Effective facilitation

  • Believe in children.
  • Teachers need to shift from an authoritarian role.
  • Let children make mistakes.

2. Prakriti Initiatives (PI)


I have moved ahead and started working to bring the theory of Natural Learning Model on ground. I registered the firm Prakriti Initiatives (PI). PI identifies itself as a catalyst in education and actively promotes Natural/Autonomous learning. T-LAB is PI's flagship program.


3. T-LAB: Dream yard for happiness


We facilitate creating T-LAB as a translation of the Natural learning model on ground, which becomes an attraction to children. We learn from eminent thinkers and philosophers and develop a unique design for the same.

T-LAB is a dedicated space for children's creativity. At T-LAB children freely work on their ideas and questions at their pace and interest. T-LAB acts as a niche space for children validates and recognizes children's natural creative activities. We ensure children ownership of the space by making them partner in developing the space.

T-LAB is a hub of children's dreams and ideas with a variety of resource material. T-LAB aspires to give space to children to learn and grow in an environment of trust, responsibility and freedom. It consists of different work stations and an ever-growing repository of materials. Skilled facilitators are available to suggest various dimensions of the project they are engaged in. They also help the children to improve the design and processes.

[T-LAB in School and Community: We helped them to create T-LAB inside their school.]

Each child decides her own list of things to do and her own way of doing things. T-LAB in effect works on an individual and personalized syllabus and complements the ‘textual' academics from the school with the concept of ‘doing' academics 3 .The successes and failures add on to the gradual learning process and attaining different competencies and their levels. We believe it to be Experiential Learning 4 into action truly complementing school's learning. It enables achieving important personal and social values 5 , such as self-reliance, creativity cooperation, critical thinking, problem solving, observing and questioning. It also provides plenty of opportunities to develop their motor skills.


4.�Miniguru.in


I realized that children of different T-LABs are showing great creativity, but it is shared among limited groups. During the covid 19 lock down, Schools are attempting to go online. Children demanded for the T-LAB activities as well, I tried to explore possibilities to engage children in creative activities, inside their houses. I got a remarkable response from kids in this. I got connected with a number of children from different T-LABs. They all have collected waste and few cutting-pasting stuff and tools from their own houses and set up a dedicated corner as home T-LAB for their creative ideas and projects.

I realized that children of different T-LABs are showing great creativity, but it is shared among limited groups. During the covid 19 lock down, Schools are attempting to go online. Children demanded for the T-LAB activities as well, I tried to explore possibilities to engage children in creative activities, inside their houses. I got a remarkable response from kids in this. I got connected with a number of children from different T-LABs. They all have collected waste and few cutting-pasting stuff and tools from their own houses and set up a dedicated corner as home T-LAB for their creative ideas and projects.

With this pilot, I visualize a virtual platform for few of the T-LAB processes like currency system, planning and sharing. This gives the opportunity to connect different T-LABs together, and also open up opportunities to create individual T-LABs.