The three goals of education in Shikshantar are:
1. development of the inner and interpersonal self
2. scholarly development, and
3. creative expressions
To help each child achieve these goals, the curriculum at Shikshantar follows the principles of integrated education.
Integrated education is a method of teaching and a culture. It enables the development of the physical self with the development of the mind, the emotional, social and inner self.
Integrated education makes overt connections between the questions of the mind and learning experiences such that knowledge is approached as a whole rather than as compartmentalised subjects.
DEVELOPMENT OF THE INNER AND INTERPERSONAL SELF
The goal of balanced development is best achieved when a child lives free of judgement and conformity. This also requires nurturing individual talents and strengths.
Development of the inner self best occurs by recognising one’s own nature and that of others. An awareness of the self is necessary for engagement with society and the world of knowledge.
Every child has a curious mind. The purpose of education is to nurture that curiosity and to establish linkages with the development of knowledge.
Generation of new knowledge can only emerge with courage, sharing and endless enquiry.
• Why do some birds fly the way they do?
• Can scientific thinking help us understand historical and social phenomena?
• Why do we learn to build robots from scratch and not modular kits?
Scholarly development is about making overt linkages with received knowledge and the processes of constructing new knowledge.
Students are regularly encouraged to conduct research at elementary and complex levels. The school infrastructure and curriculum enables the active use of school laboratories, the library and activity rooms, and allows adequate time for students and teachers to read, collect data, construct, discuss, analyse and present their findings to each other on a regular basis.
Scholarly development in Shikshantar is about the development of knowledge, the ability to question, sensory experiences and integration of creative expressions.
Aesthetics establish connections between the self, society, the spiritual and nature. In Shikshantar, the aesthetic sense is evoked in every physical and interpersonal space.
It begins with a connect with Nature, the origin and reservoir of all that is aesthetic.
Aesthetics in the curriculum is enabled through art, music, drama, physical fitness, creative writing, circle time and in asking simple questions about why we do what we do and how it helps us connect with our inner nature and that of all living beings around us.
Students of all classes weave in and out of academic classes and non-academic classes that include the performing arts, the visual arts, the fine arts and sports.
The outcome is the nurturing of the “whole person” the development of the individual child who is in tune with her own thinking and creative self as she is with the people and world around her.