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Un/Common Schooling: Educational Experiments in Twentieth-Century India
Edited by Janaki Nair
Price
1145.00
ISBN
9789354422775
Language
English
Pages
296
Format
Paperback
Dimensions
140 x 216 mm
Year of Publishing
2022
Territorial Rights
World
Imprint
Orient BlackSwan

Educational practices in India have been curiously deficient in providing alternatives to the inherited colonial system of education. Those offered by Gandhi and Tagore, the two best-known exceptions, were ignored after 1947. Un/Common Schooling is a collection of writings by idealistic and enterprising individuals who founded alternative schools in India, located mostly in remote villages with little or no access to basic civic amenities, from the 1970s to the present that highlights the philosophies and rationale behind such schools.

A serious reflection on what constitutes ‘alternative’, these narratives are animated by key questions: How are ‘learning’ and ‘life skills’ defined? Is building capacity for autonomy and creativity as important as imparting ‘encashable’ skills? What are the chances of those who were largely excluded from schooling finding meaning and value in the classroom—conventional or alternative? These are inspiring stories of building institutions to reach first-generation learners in some of the most marginal sections of Indian society, and narrate the manifold challenges that were encountered in starting, running and sustaining these alternatives that counter the inadequate and unequal system of education today.

Un/Common Schooling also reflects on interviews with students who passed through the Alternative Education Network, as well as those who sought educational credentials, what it meant to them and how it impacted their lives. The essays therefore provide an empathetic understanding of even the unexpected outcomes of these experiments in pedagogy, making the book a vital addition to the history and sociology of education in India.

The book will serve as an invaluable resource for researchers and practitioners in the fields of education, development studies, and public policy, while also serving as an important archive of a crucial moment in Indian education.

Janaki Nair is former Professor of Modern Indian History at the Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.

List of Abbreviations
List of Photographs
Publishers’ Acknowledgements
Introduction
Janaki Nair

P A R T I      REFLECTIONS ON ALTERNATIVE EDUCATION
1. Why an Alternative Education System?
K. T. Margaret
2. Alternative Schooling in Changing Times
Jane H. Sahi
3. Eklavya’s Work In and Around Government Schools: Resistance, Resilience and Impact Rashmi Paliwal

P A R T II      EXPERIMENTS
4. Sriniketan: Inter-embedded Pedagogy and Transformation of the Rural
Pradip Kumar Datta
5. Vikasana: A Rural Centre for Education
Malathi M. C.
6. Kanavu
Shirly Joseph

P A R T III      LIFE STORIES
The Life Stories Project: Recalling Educational Experiences
Janaki Nair
7. Locating Education: School, Family and Community, and the Practice of Care
Sunandan K. N.
8. Vocations for Poor Married Women: An Oral History
Shivangi Jaiswal
9. Accessing Education: Reconfiguring Family and Neighbourhood Networks
Megha Sharma
10. Un/Common Schooling: Alternative Education in the Time of Democracy
Janaki Nair

Notes on Contributors
Index

Notice | Published in the Frontline (Fortnightly), Chennai, 18 November 2022.
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