Leading their own learning

Aditi Mathur and Ratnesh Mathur

We believe that children can decide what they want to learn, how they want to learn, with whom they want to learn, how much they want to learn and how well they want to learn. In short we believe children can LEAD their own lives.

Over the last 16 years we have been on a long and exciting journey following the beliefs we have mentioned above (visit aarohilife.org). So here is what we think one needs to consider when putting together an environment that creates learning leaders.

girl-doing-pots Design to reach NOwhere
Shiva is excited about butterflies. He spends a lot of time catching them, talking to them, talking about them, releasing them. He makes them listen to his favourite songs and observes how they dance to them. He names them.

He has no need to display his growing knowledge, his understanding, and his passion to anybody. Personal journeys do not have a destination, the engine chugs endlessly.

Design to FAIL
Sahil is designing stand-alone tippity taps. His tap leaks. He tries a quintal of m-seal, it still leaks. He starts again, it continues to leak. He tries a different way but does not succeed in stopping the trickle of water.

He has no need to hide his failure. He likes his disasters so much that he shows them off to everybody and is open to all suggestions. Learning endeavours do not end with a failure, they stress that learning (and life) is iterative.

The authors run an open unschool called Aarohi and invite all readers to visit and see how open learning can be an amazing way to work with children. They also conduct training retreats and online training for teachers and parents. Visit www.aarohilife.org.

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