Education and Modernity

A four-week online course for teachers and parents

Important course information

The rat-race of modernity has made us all disempowered and helpless. Reality and Truth, which we as human beings have natural access to, can provide an anchor. This facilitator-led online course does 'Dhyanaakarshan', draws the attention, to the Truth (and not theories or frameworks), of the teaching-learning process and the modern education system to put the power back in our hands.

This is NOT a training program that will address the 'HOW'. Through videos, reading material, introspective writing and group discussions, this course focuses on the 'WHAT' and the 'WHY' and encourages participants to reflect within to seek personal solutions.

Introduction and course description People – parents, teachers, educators, students – cutting across class and rural urban divides, are dissatisfied with the education system. There are variations in the stated reasons for the dissatisfaction but at the core the issue has commonalities. Despite many sincere attempts to improve the system over the past 70 years, we have not achieved much and seem to be going around in circles.

This is so because the problem lies in the framework, or rather the paradigm, within which the system is located. Paradigms and frameworks have the power to influence and put blinkers on our perception, so that we see only from within the framework boundaries, of which we are unaware. This works well for us as long as the paradigm is founded on Truth but if the paradigm itself is fraught with fundamental flaws then we need to step out of the particular framework and work from outside to put things right.

Irresolvable conflicts and contradictions are inherent in the present paradigm. 'Development' is in conflict with the environmental crisis staring us in the face, a crisis difficult to ignore any longer. Education is supposed to prepare people for employment but AI and large-scale automation is in direct conflict with employment opportunities. Freedom is taught as a value but we have no control over even the food we eat, the water we drink, or the air we breathe. We want honest, kind, compassionate human beings but we know that to survive we need to be aggressive and competitive. This is only the tip of the iceberg. All of us feel the unknown and invisible pressure which seems to be in the air encouraging us to act and behave in an inauthentic manner robbing us of our sahajta.

In the 4 week interactive course we will help you self-reflect, to examine the (hidden) assumptions embedded within each of us which mold our perceptions. Our hope is that by the end of the course you will go beyond to a new way of seeing and evaluating your inner and outer worlds. We call it the master paradigm.

Course details:

The course runs for 4 weeks from Monday, November 30th to Saturday, December 26th, 2020. When you register, you get a login and password to access the course. The self-paced course runs from within a proprietary Learning Management System (LMS) that guides you through the content. The only fixed times are 2-hour weekend zoom calls with all participants. This is for winding up the weekly learnings, free discussions and doubt clearance. Both the course facilitators will be available on these calls. The daily interactions, question/ answers etc. happen on a WhatsApp group chat. The weekly program flow includes watching the initial video/ audio presentations, reading the relevant material, completing assignments (that are designed to let you contemplate on the connection of course material to your lives rather than test knowledge) and take part in the discussions. Here are some screens from the course:

Fees

The fee for the online course is Rs 7,500 (Rs Seven thousand five hundred only) per participant. This includes the cost of the following books published by SIDH and Asli Shiksha that are sent to the participants at the end of the course (If you are not in India, we will send you the PDF's or send the books to an Indian address you choose). Learning to Learn- An Introduction, Learning to Learn - Ideas on Implementation, A Matter of Quality, Learning at Bodhshala and Understanding History.

Facilitators

Pawan Kumar Gupta
Pawan Kumar GuptaB Tech, IIT Delhi, 1976
Pawan is a well known speaker, author and thought leader on education. He is the co-founder of SIDH, an NGO that has, over the years, run 35 village schools and published more than 40 books in Hindi and English. He has worked in close collaboration with, and is deeply influenced by, many renowned scholars and spiritual leaders like Dharampal, SN Goenka, Baba Nagaraj, Samdhong Rinpoche and Ravindra Sharma. His life-journey has given him valuable insights into the impact of modernity on our society.
Arun Elassery
Arun ElasseryB Tech, IIT Kharagpur, 1988
Arun is an author and the co-founder of Asli Shiksha, an education start-up based in Bangalore. He is the author of 'The laughing onion' a picture book for children published by Eklavya. A regular column on alternative schools he wrote appeared in the Teacher Plus magazine. He is collaborating with Pawan Gupta on writing a series of books on education. The first two books on the philosophy and practice of self-learning are published. He has 20 years of experience in e-learning and education and was a 'Wipro Education Fellow' from 2010 to 2016. Arun’s three children have grown up without going to school.

Testimonials:

When I joined the course I thought I will bring in a change in the lives of our students but now I think it changed my outlook. I would recommend the course to everybody. I found the course structure focused on self-learning very important. For me I think it is the beginning of a journey.
SanjaySerial entrepreneur and trustee - An educational foundation, NOIDA
Unlike all the other courses which I have attended, this was an eye-opener for me on how to look at life, education and modernity. I sincerely feel that a new journey has started for me; which helps me to question my actions and thoughts with in-depth introspection.
JyothiSenior software professional - Bangalore
I don't know how to thank Pawanji and Arunji for showing the direction in which we need to think, act and walk. For me the course was more like the discovery of truth. It has been more of self education than knowing about the right education for the child.
BharatSenior scientist - Informatics company, Bangalore
The course is a journey to reflect within and go deeper. It provided an opportunity to make a connection between the inner and outer world. Although the course's name has ‘Education’ in it, this is largely about Life. To me this course indicated how to make life a little easier in difficult times.
RupsiManager - organic farming and women’s empowerment NGO, FARIDKOT
In the chaos of today's lifestyle, required change can come only from within. This course offers tools and perspectives for bringing forth change you desire within and without. And from that place of inner Sahajta and freedom we can live fully while contributing to our society.
SwatiTeacher - An educational foundation, NOIDA
The design of the course helps us to go beyond our assumptions and ideas and look within ourselves and come to a complete understanding about what education is and its connection to our whole being and living.
SrinjoyTeacher - A residential school, Dehradun
The course helped me look at the world, myself and my beliefs differently. It shook my perceptions and conditioning that I've lived with all these years. The best part of these sessions is they direct you to Truths that have always been in front of us but to which we hadn’t paid attention.
RoopaSenior software professional - Bangalore
If we were to examine life in its entirety with all our perceptions, notions, beliefs, conditioning and experiences, they may seem intermingled, until something urges us to take a pause and reflect. For me this happened with this course that created a paradigm shift that ‘We always have a choice’.
KirtiResearch and resources facilitator - A school, NOIDA
This is a unique course that naturally pushes us into self-reflection. As the content revolves around the basic eternal values of life, everybody who takes the course content seriously, is bound to benefit from it. The course equips us to better handle the insecurities of life.
LalithashreeTeacher and teacher educator - Bangalore

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