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Recommended Books 

Divasvapana: An Educator’s Reverie by Gijubhai Badheka

Divaswapna is an imaginary work where a Primary teacher rejects the traditional and conventional culture of education and goes on to experiment with an innovative approach to learning. The protagonist of the book wants to break away from teaching through prescribed text books and portrays that children learn when meaningfully engaged in activities and when presented with content in a manner interesting to them.

The book propounds the theory that a child needs an environment of freedom and self reliance. It criticizes teaching by creating a fear in the minds of children. It also propagates the need for educators to break away from the shackles of rigidity to give way to new ideas. It reinforces that children should learn to enhance knowledge not for fear of examination. This learning needs to take place naturally and should not be the end product of cramming.

Divaswapna reconfirms the belief that when a cause is approached with enthusiasm, self-confidence and dedication experiments are a success. With the changing scenario of education, Divaswapna gives an insight to all educators and parents about experiences which are crucial to learning. [Review by Sumit Sharma https://www.quora.com/What-are-some-reviews-on-the-book-Divaswapna-by-Gijubhai]

 

The little prince by Aantoine De Saint –Exupery

The Little Prince is a poetic tale, with watercolour illustrations by the author, in which a pilot stranded in the desert meets a young prince fallen to Earth from a tiny asteroid. The story is philosophical and includes social criticism, remarking on the strangeness of the adult world. Though ostensibly styled as a children’s book, The Little Prince makes several observations about life and human nature. For example, Saint-Exupéry tells of a fox meeting the young prince during his travels on Earth. The story’s essence is contained in the lines uttered by the fox to the little prince: “One sees clearly only with the heart. What is essential is invisible to the eyes.” Other key thematic messages are articulated by the fox, such as: “You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.” and “It is the time you have lost for your rose that makes your rose so important.” The fox’s messages are arguably the book’s most famous quotations because they deal with human relationships.

 

How to talk so kids will listen & listen so kids will talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish

This bestselling classic includes fresh insights and suggestions as well as the author’s time-tested methods to solve common problems and build foundations for lasting relationships, including innovative ways to: 
·      Cope with your child’s negative feelings, such as frustration, anger, and disappointment
·      Express your strong feelings without being hurtful
·      Engage your child’s willing cooperation
·      Set firm limits and maintain goodwill
·      Use alternatives to punishment that promote self-discipline
·      Understand the difference between helpful and unhelpful praise
·      Resolve family conflicts peacefully

Enthusiastically praised by parents and professionals around the world, the down-to-earth, respectful approach of Faber and Mazlish makes relationships with children of all ages less stressful and more rewarding. 

 

Education for living creatively and peacefully by Devi Prasad

The book address the fundamental question: “What is Education?” Drawing on a lifetime of experience as teacher, artist and craftsman, Devi Prasad shares and elucidates the insights of Gandhi and Tagore, as well as a global range of thinkers on education, to argue that Art Education should be the core of the Education process. Art Education, broadly understood, inculcates a sense of unity and harmony with both the living and the non-living world around us.

 

The curious incident of the dog in the night time by Mark Haddon

Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions. He cannot stand to be touched. And he detests the color yellow. Although gifted with a superbly logical brain, for fifteen-year-old Christopher everyday interactions and admonishments have little meaning. He lives on patterns, rules, and a diagram kept in his pocket. Then one day, a neighbor’s dog, Wellington, is killed and his carefully constructive universe is threatened. Christopher sets out to solve the murder in the style of his favorite (logical) detective, Sherlock Holmes. What follows makes for a novel that is funny, poignant and fascinating in its portrayal of a person whose curse and blessing are a mind that perceives the world entirely literally.

 

The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran 

Almustafa, a young prophet, has lived in Orphalese for twelve years and is waiting for the ship that will take him home. The townspeople beg him to stay, but Almustafa remains firm in his decision. Then they ask him to speak to them one more time, to share his words of wisdom on love, marriage, children, giving, eating and drinking, work, joy and sorrow, houses, clothes, buying and selling, crime and punishment, laws, freedom, reason and passion, pain, self-knowledge, teaching, friendship, talking, time, good and evil, prayer, pleasure, beauty, religion, and death. His final words are a promise that he will return to Orphalese.

While the structure is narrative, the language is very rhythmic and biblical in style, using such phrases as “You have been told . . . but I say unto you” and “Verily I say unto you.” The repetition of such words as “but,” “and,” and “for” helps maintain the thought and logic of the theme as Gibran moves from response to response, as one idea suggests another. In addition, Gibran skillfully uses rhetorical questions. This can be observed in Almustafa’s response to the question about giving….

 

Summerhill by A.S. Neill

A simplicity to read, the “Summerhill” book is endorsed in the foreword by legendary sociologist and psychoanalyst Erich Fromm (who is not the author of “Summerhill”). Fromm recapitulates what Neill’s systematic principles in this volume are. In a nutshell: nourish the whole child’s potential to love life intellectually, as well as emotionally; have him educated commensurate with his capacity, sans dogmatic disciplining; allow him to be free, but without encroaching on anyone; have the teachers maintain a transparency; encourage security in the pupil without resorting to submission and domination tactics, or utilizing guilt in one’s methods; and advocate a theology of human freedom, not sinful suppression.

This book is divided into seven intriguing chapters, dealing with, respectively, activities at the school, rearing children, sexuality, theology and morality, problem issues for children, problem matters for parents, and lastly, questions and responses.

 

How to bring up a child by The Mother

Few people receive the quality guidance that is required to raise a child. As a result, we  invariably end up transferring our own subconscious deficiencies (inertia, addictions, indiscipline) onto our children.   The Sri Aurobindo Society has published a booklet “How to bring up a child” on this crucially important topic, bringing together insights from Sri Aurobindo and the Mother Mirra Alfassa along with anecdotes and stories from other people and places. 

 

Introduction to in Integral Education by Sraddhalu Ranade

This book takes up the challenge of rebuilding the foundations of education on the deeper psychological insights innate to the Indian civilisation, and gives a concrete form to the new mindset that must suffuse the future education of humanity. It charts out the broad lines along which teachers, parents and schools can make a smooth transition into the new educational paradigm.

 

Krishnamurti on Education by J. Krishnamurti

This book is the outcome of talks and discussions held in India by J. Krishnamurti with the students and teachers of schools at Rishi Valley School in Andhra Pradesh and Rajghat School at Varanasi. These centres are run by the Krishnamurti Foundation India, which was set up to create a milieu where the teachings of Krishnamurti could be communicated to the child. Krishnamurti regards education as of prime significance in the communication of that which is central to the transformation of the human mind and the creation of a new culture. http://shikshantarschool.com/about-us/recommended-readings/ http://shikshantarschool.com/about-us/recommended-readings/ http://shikshantarschool.com/about-us/recommended-readings/Such a fundamental transformation takes place when the child, while being trained in various skills and disciplines, is also given the capacity to be awake to the processes of his own thinking, feeling and action. This alertness makes him self-critical and observant and thus establishes an integrity of perception, discrimination and action, crucial to the maturing within him of a right relationship to man, to nature and to the tools man creates.