Thursday, March 27, 2014

Alternative Education System in India

Apart from the main stream education system, there are few alternative education systems available to name them; they are Waldorf Steiner Schools, Montessori Schools and Krishnamurti education. There is one more alternative education system, but to do justice we will discuss that later.

Waldorf Steiner Education:
It is based on a philosophy called ‘Anthroposophy’ and also makes extensive use of a special kind of rhythmic movement training called ‘Eurythymy’. The essence of this education is that subjects are taught as lesson ‘blocks’. Children prepare their lessons with their teachers. They prepare their own booklet of learned material, as there are no textbooks; also the teacher follows student’s right from KG to std. 7. 

They do not have common written examinations at the end of the year but they have a continual internal observation as well as one-on-one interview. There are no rankings, no grade or numbers. Instead the teachers speaks about the child’s strengths and weakness, personality, capabilities and abilities etc… this schools get heavily involved in the child’s home life and with the child’s parents. It aims at a balance between academics, artistic education and social life. Students who need a formal certification can write the IGCSE examination.

Montessori Education:
It is based on constructivist or ‘discovery’ education model. Classes are of mixed age groups within a three year range. Ex: 3-6 yrs., 9-12 yrs., and so on. Students here learn concepts from working with materials, rather than by direct instruction. They use specialized and pre-approved materials developed through years of research.

Classes are taught by trained and certified Montessori teachers. All the subjects are interwoven and taught together; different children learn different concepts at different level in the same class on the same day, according to interest and aptitude. There are no formal assessment rather the reports are descriptive than positional.

Krishnamurti Education:
This school functions as regular schools that incorporate Jiddu Krishnamurti’s teaching and principles. The focus here is on cultivating a love of nature and observance of the beauty of the natural world. It promotes individuality and free expression through frequent class debates, discussions and essays etc… The chide is encouraged to take up any and all extracurricular activities they are interested in. curriculum follows exiting national board, usually ICSE. Schools enjoys considerable freedom as there is no certification or evaluation authority.

We would be wondering even if we put our children in one of these alternative schools, what would our child do next? For Krishnamurti education students study and write the mainstream ICSE examination, they integrate seamlessly into the Indian and foreign educational system for higher studies. For Montessori and Waldorf-Steiner schooling students can write NIOS examinations in order to get a mainstream equivalent certification. IB and IGCSE board also accept them provided they can demonstrate aptitude by pass the entrance process.

Schools offering these options in India:
  1. Waldorf Steiner School
    • TRIDHA Steiner school
    • Inodai Waldorf School
  2. Krishnamurti School
    • Sahyadri school, Pune
    • Rishi valley school, Andhra Pradesh
  3. Montessori
    • Casa Montessori
    • Casa Bambino
    • Aseema
    • Besant Montessori school
    • Blue Bells Montessori
      
       Bharti Sharma,
      Career Counselor, 
      Edugroomrs
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