Curriculum of Manava Bharati is not a static inorganic thing, but an evolving and growing set of ideas and methodologies that compliments the child’s need. We look at ‘Life’ as the basis of the curriculum so that the child can relate to it conveniently.
Our curriculum includes ethics and culture, watershed management, natural farming, soil conservation and land development, bio-diversity conservation, rural engineering, architecture, science and technology, art, cooking and housekeeping, sustainable use of resources, among others. Dance, yoga, and music are essential elements in our curriculum for boosting self-confidence, creativity and a positive vision.
At Manava Bharati Dehradun we believe that language is the key to learning. It is the focal point to the development of a global mind for all members of the school community, allowing access to a greater range of experiences in the world the language of instruction is English and the curriculum is delivered through this medium throughout the school.
However, the school recognizes that maintenance of one’s mother tongue is not only important for its contribution to each individual’s cultural identity, but also lays the foundation of linguistic understanding upon which subsequent language learning takes place. Teachers encourage students to speak English in the class, but are aware of the benefits derived from a competence in one’s own language.
The school library undertakes to include literature in a range of languages representative of the school population. Students will be empowered with the vision and tools for creating new manifestations through thought. Story telling of real life situations and cultural narratives are some of the effective media used to empower the student’s linguistic abilities to articulate the complexities of life.
Visual And Performing Arts
Arts provide children with an opportunity to communicate their thoughts, ideas and feelings. Different forms of art are an effective and powerful medium for self-exploration and self-expression. We strongly believe that various art forms are essential for a complete development of any individual. It is through art that we can develop the quality of head and heart as well as manual skills. A great deal of emphasis is being given to the art-forms at Manava Bharati.
We do not consider art to be extracurricular or co-curricular but an integral core of our curriculum. “Art education may be perceived as a tool for development of aesthetic sensibility among learners to enable them to respond to the beauty in color, shape, form, movement, and sound. Art education and appreciation of one’s cultural heritage may go side by side and reinforce the understanding of each other” (NCF 2005).
Social science education at school level increases the child’s sensitivity to diverse cultures, communities, and interest-groups. We at Manava Bharati facilitate this process in the child. The basic ideas of history enable the child to appreciate the evolution of civilization and culture across the tide of times.
It develops a healthy perspective of observing and understanding the perennial aspects of human nature against the background of changing times. The way we teach civics prepares the child to grow up into a mature and responsible adult knowing his rights and responsibilities as a citizen. Geography makes him realize the diversity that exists in lifestyles owing to differences in climate and topography. The beauty of mankind’s journey through space and time continues to be the unifying theme throughout the process of learning.
The focus of teaching of mathematics is not merely to develop numerical ability and mathematical reasoning, but to help learners to apply them to the reality they live in. In a typical conventional set up mathematics is taught to follow a set of rules and application of formulae mindlessly to arrive at the right answer rather than developing understanding of the concept and appreciation of beauty of mathematics.
Learners at Manava Bharati Dehradun will have the opportunity to construct their understanding by developing their own methods before they are acquainted with the typical standard algorithm for solving mathematical problems.
Based on recent research in the field of Cognitive Sciences, it has been clearly established that human beings are genetically programmed to learn and decipher meanings and to be inquisitive and curious about the world around. The mind’s natural capacity to observe, learn, decipher and respond to the wonderful patterns and forms of nature is unique.
At Manava Bharati, special thrust is being given to work on this latent curiosity; so that it is nurtured and nourished further such that a child’s mind is always on the look out to observe the environment around, appreciate nature’s beauty, establish the patterns and inter-relationships, develop tools and forms to study them and build conceptual models to develop a comprehensive understanding of the physical world and its relationship with society.
We at Manava Bharati believe that to understand and appreciate the beauty of science one is to be endowed with skills of developing good observation skills. There is no better place than the laboratory of nature, namely earth, to develop and practice such skills. Manava Bharati, owing to its location has natural scenic beauty in abundance.
Learning is a lifelong process. In order to ensure meaningful learning sometimes we have to unlearn a lot of things that we already know. This is an uncomfortable process but it is these uncomfortable situations in life that we learn the most.
However, there should be a motivating factor that will encourage us to go on this journey. We need to feel the spirit of enquiry, the desire to know more and stand in awe at the beauty with which life functions and are important for a meaningful learning process. It is this combination of learning and wonderment that makes the learning process fun.
Project Based Learning
We learn when we do. Our children are “not taught” but sensitively and systematically facilitated to develop their physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual planes of being. As learners learn to appreciate the beauty of various disciplines, they develop an ability to understand as to how concepts are intertwined across various disciplines and subjects.
At Manava Bharati, all the learners will have an opportunity to work on real life projects such they are able to discover, develop and nurture various skills that would require them to build relationship with the work such that the passion and not diktat motivates. The precursor to such learning is to develop an ability to collaborate, enquire, experiment, observe, hypothesize, reason and communicate.
Multi Grade Teaching
Grouping children like family gains strength from the range of talents and interests of its members, the multi-grade class is thus enriched. The barriers of age and gender are thus broken down. A child actively uses older children to develop skills and to acquire knowledge. The same child actively asserts responsibility towards younger ones and develops an increasingly sophisticated understanding of that responsibility.
Thematic Learning is a novel method of facilitating learning whereby a specific theme or idea is selected to enable learning of one or more academic concepts simultaneously. The corner stone of this method is the integration of data and thoughts on various aspects of a selected theme. This provides an environment that fosters and encourages the process of learning and active involvement of ALL the children. They build on the children’s interests and prior knowledge by focusing on topics relevant to their lives. They help children relate to real-life experiences and build on what they know as formalised concepts. Thematic units provide one of the best vehicles for integrating content areas in a way that makes sense to children and helps them make connections to transfer knowledge they learn in an understandable and effective manner and also to apply it to their own lives in a meaningful way. Thematic units also address diverse learning styles of the children we serve.
Tools For Learning
Following are the tools used to facilitate the learning process. These are selected to facilitate the enhancement of the values highlighted above.
Children develop confidence when they are trained to be creative with their hands. Hands-on activities promote the mental growth of the child and facilitate learning based on the experiences and the environment they are exposed to. Crafts assist children with the development of their fine motor skills as well as complex and abstract conceptual understanding. They can learn for themselves to be self-sufficient and self-reliant. In the process they develop the value of Shraddha or a sense of appreciation and respect for others through their own understanding of self- help and self- respect.
The idea of group work envisages the vision of children talking, sharing, reshaping, refining and co- creating their concepts while learning from one another. It also activates the inherent enthusiasm of every child by creating, learning opportunities in group situations, both cooperative and collaborative. Every group work situation provides children with an opportunity to assimilate their knowledge through discussion with their peers and to support each other’s learning and growth facilitating mutual understanding and trust.
Self –reflection is an important ability to look within ourselves to get a clear snapshot of our thoughts, beliefs, emotions, motivations and our personality, in general. It is a process of critically observing our own mental models. By a height- ended awareness one can more easily interpret personal thoughts and emotions to figure out true feelings and motivations. Once we are able to figure out “our-self”, we can make the changes we need to improve ourselves. Emotional intelligence involving its identification and control is directly connected to self- reflection and plays an important and a continuous role in shaping a successful human being.
Dialogue is a shared exploration towards a greater understanding. It helps children to think collectively in developing human relationship. Thinking together implies that the child ceases to consider self-decision as final. The object of a dialogue is not merely to analyze or to win an argument but to exchange opinions. Therefore, the child is able to supplement self-opinions with those of others to realize what all that means. Through this the child learns to appreciate as to how truth emerges unannounced. Dialogue fosters greater sensitivity in children which in turn helps them to become more compassionate towards others.
Our children begin to contribute to the well-being of the immediate community in the school as well as to the larger global community when they grow up. They can thus become global citizens by gaining broader and deeper perspectives of the world through community service projects. This facilitates broadening their horizons, deepening their understanding, growth of compassion, empathy and a sense of belonging with fellow-human beings. They are given opportunities to practice, develop, and explore these essential components of character.