Delving into ancient India

Keerthi Mukunda and Diba Siddiqi

At the Centre For Learning, Bangalore, many Social Science courses have taken place, over our twenty-year-old life.

indusshining1 Children have roamed various Bangalore neighbourhoods conversing with shopkeepers and mapping streets as part of an urban geography class. Dramas have been composed and enacted around historical periods: the Harappan civilization, the life of the Buddha, anecdotes from pre-Independence India, and the Mahabharata.

From age 9 to 12 (middle school), children engage in study and understanding that moves from the most immediate and familiar circumstances to broader contexts. This means that they begin with their own and their family histories, then interact with people who live in their neighborhoods or close to the school. Later on, they explore aspects of a wider area: in our case, Bangalore city and Magadi taluk.

Further courses, in a three-year trial run, include “definite” courses and “open courses”.

The “open courses” offer a chance to create a new course. Amongst our definite courses are Ancient Civilization, Country Study, Indian History (Ancient, Medieval) Physical Geography, Human Evolution. In the past few years, the open courses have included Islam and Music (this was a joint Science and Social Science course).

Keerthi Mukunda received a Masters in Education from the University of Massachusetts and taught for a few years in a public school in the US before joining Centre for Learning School, Bangalore. She has a particular interest in teaching and developing curricula in the areas of English and Social Studies. She can be reached at

Diba Siddiqi has an undergraduate degree in Anthropology (Bryn Mawr) and a Masters in Public Health (Johns Hopkins). She worked for five years with the Urmul Trust, a development organization in rural Rajasthan. She teaches and develops curriculum in Social Studies, at the Centre for Learning School, Bangalore. She can be reached at

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