Henry David Thoreau, in the early 1800s, wrote about what he understood of Education. He said, “Education… makes a straight-cut ditch of a free, meandering brook.“
About a century later, Rabindranath Tagore, made a similar observation about the schooling system. He said, “School forcibly snatches away children from a world full of God’s own handiwork… It is a mere method of discipline which refuses to take into account the individual… a manufactory for grinding out uniform results.“
He went on to say what he thinks education should be, “I believe that the object of education is the freedom of mind which can only be achieved through the path of freedom.”
‘A Little Grove’, is an attempt to create a small space, where children are free to explore their own interests and concerns, free to discover their meaning of life. An attempt to mimic nature and clear space for the free, meandering brook to carve out its own unique path.
It is an attempt to create a true democratic learning and living space for children wherein different ways of knowing and learning are not only respected but also encouraged. Children not only decide what they wish to do in the space but also take part in deciding how the centre functions.
We do not follow any fixed curriculum. How could we! Each child is unique. Everyone here is encouraged to follow ones heart and carve out a curriculum and time-table for oneself. Children discover their own innate interests and then earnestly pursue them. And because they chose them, they also rough it out and learn them well. So, children become the true architects of their own education.
The centre is run by parents and children together with no fixed fees, but on ‘pay as you wish’ basis.
There is only so much we can say about the space. Words and websites have their own limitations. We welcome you to come and visit us. Come and spend some time with us and the children to see how it all works.