Reprinted from: Aarohi Life Education
Imagine a school where there is no curriculum – because we believe that children can decide what they want to learn, how much they want to learn. Children rather develop a set of key 35 objectives over all the years of schooling.
Imagine a school where there is no teaching – because we believe that children can decide how they want to learn – on their own, with each other and from various resources. We are there to guide them, where they need us.
Imagine a school where there are no classes – because we believe that when children learn and teach each other – there is no need to separate them based on ages. We simply learn from whomsoever we can.
Imagine a school where there are no tests and exams – because we believe that children can assess themselves. Also because children do not need to learn for some external objective (marks) but for their own love for learning.
Imagine Aarohi, a life-school – where learning happens because children want to learn from their life – for their life.
Imagine a school which does not make the learning easy. Children like it challenging.
Imagine a school which does not make the learning obvious. We make it confusing.
Imagine a school which does not make the learning interesting. Children work from their interest.
Imagine a school which guarantees one definitive outcome – that all learning will be self discovery.
Aarohi means evolving. Child is always evolving – learning, growing and figuring out her life. Aarohi is a space where any child can discover self and the world around.
The child is capable, is born an empowered being, is the best person to lead herself. She learns naturally, almost effortlessly, by experiencing, exploring, experimenting and expressing. This is how the child learned her mother tongue. Nobody taught her, no material, no activities, no time bound syllabus was needed. she used her exposure in the environment from peers to learn. She learned the mother tongue in her own unique way, at her own pace, and most importantly for her own reasons.
There are many ways to look at education. We believe education is a journey that helps a child to explore himself – his thoughts, his interests, his strengths, his own kick in life, his purpose of life. If we were to not superimpose our view of the world, if we were to not package life for the child – then the child has freedom to choose what the child wants to do, how he wants to do and to bear the consequences of his action. This kind of freedom puts a lot of responsibility on the child, one which we believe the child is as capable to take, is akin to living life.
Education is not about a system that the child follows, rather Aarohi is a system that follows the child in his journey of learning. To provide the child this space – Aarohi offers to the child:
- Resources to choose from: including all kinds of books, internet, videos & movies, materials and equipment, people from all walks of life, places to visit, learning campus etc
- Exposure of all kinds: since our map is the whole universe – according to us everything is worth learning. The child meets all kinds of stuff, from stitching to salsa, from emotions to electromagnetism, from sonnets to subtraction – and so on. The child does not learn because we want her to learn something at that age. Child learns because she wants to learn that something at that age.
- Democratic environment: Child chooses. Child is responsible for her choice. Child is accountable for the consequence of her choice. Child is also answerable to peers for her choices – to the extent it affects them. A democratic space is a challenging space – and for that reason it is a learning space!
- Facilitators who are with children but do nothing for them. Who question children but do not give answers. Who sometimes push (without expectations), pull, stay quiet, discuss, listen, accept, not accept, fight, let-go and sometimes just sit back and observe and later share what they observed. The child is free to use the facilitator as a resource, as a peer or as a support.
Aarohi is not a way, or a method or an approach. It is a space, an environment, an acceptance, a belief, a soil for the child to grow – as nature is already tuned to deliver. We call this organic learning. In nature every plant has its own way of growing – which we can only understand by observing each plant. We operate from the needs of the plant instead of the need of the farmer. In Aarohi we do not follow any method, any theory – but we follow each child – observing, understanding, exploring each child own unique way of learning.
Aarohi was founded by Aditi Mathur who is an architect and Interior Designer. She is a counsellor and specializes in giving parents guidance over any kinds of issues. She has been working with children and training parents and teachers since 1999. She says, “With children in Aarohi, the life school concept is constantly evolving. If the life learning is the way of education then why not spread to more children? My vision is to take the life school concept to many more children.”
‘Can a campus teach? With this interesting perspective we are growing a campus in a village near Hosur. A visit to our “open” campus will show you that learning is less about what we learn, but more about what we live!