The Curriculum, Internship and Assessment

The Curriculum

The curriculum for this course is organised in ten modules:

1. Connecting to the Land, Community and Ourselves

This module is designed with the belief that the first lesson of sustainable living is for us to own up a sense of belonging and stewardship to the eco-systems we are a part of. While part of the module is co-created by participants, based on their interests, it will include the following:

  • Activities on the Land & Community Living: Most of us in cities have lost a sense of belonging and co-ownership of land and community. Participants will have the opportunity to connect with the land through the Bhoomi garden as they observe, work on and grow food as a community. What emerges and can be fleshed out in the process are also innumerable issues concerning ecological and sustainable living.
  • Holistic Enquiry: This includes enquiry into the ecology of our bodies and minds as well as of other ‘outer’ ecosystems; understanding reductionist science and linear logic as well as Gaia theory, systems and complexity theories. The approach to such enquiry is through applications to food, health, farming, our economic system, the education system etc.

2. Inner and Outer Ecology

This is a five day residential programme to learn from principles of Nature and focus on our patterns of thinking, feeling and behavior. Facilitators and the group participate in a journey of holistic enquiry in Nature, within oneself and with each other, through sharing, interaction, meditation and other processes of exploration.

3. Philosophies and Theories of Education

his cluster includes the history and evolution of modern educational systems; the impact of modern education on philosophy and culture; and mobilising the positives of culture as well as macro-needs in the future, to re-shape the philosophy we want in our schools.

  • Perspectives on Education. Covers brain science research; taking education beyond the realm of social science; education for diversity; age-appropriate curriculum design and practices; and assessment models.
  • Holistic Education –Processes and Methods. Here, we study the processes involved in enabling facilitators and children deal with all aspects of learning and growth through active and participative learning, hands-on projects and field trips; learning styles frameworks; the multiple intelligences approach; learning by focusing on strengths; and connecting with Nature and the soil.

4. Communication

While communication in all forms will be valuable for anyone, an introduction to theatre, story telling and expression through art will be very useful to teachers or anyone working with children. During this module, participants will learn from experts and practitioners the significance of various means of expression and communication. Module will also touch upon the usage of multimedia in classroom teaching.

5. Education, Sustainability and Systems Thinking – a Holistic Enquiry

This cluster focuses on a critical analysis of the role of education in supporting an unsustainable development paradigm. It includes building awareness regarding alternatives proposed by thinkers such as Tagore, Gandhi, Ivan Illich, Satish Kumar, David Orr, Ron Miller, Fritjof Capra, Gustavo Esteva and others. There will also be class observation sessions and face-to-face discussions with the children and teachers of Prakriya Green Wisdom School, an alternative school located in the same campus.

  • Holistic Science and Systems Thinking: Covers the ecology of our bodies and minds and that of other external ecosystems; understanding Western (reductionist) science and linear logic; and the exploration of other systems of science, health and education, especially Indian knowledge systems.
  • Learning from Real Life:To support you in promoting Holistic Education and broadening the world views of children, we integrate the following:
  • Food and Health - We believe education can play a critical role in building awareness about conscious eating and health and in helping children understand food politics and how food affects climate change. These issues will be studied through the works of Dr Vandana Shiva, Masanobu Fukuoka, Dr Frances Moore Lappé, Devinder Sharma and others.

6. Ecological Living in Urban Areas

Here, we cover localisation vs. globalisation, understanding the significance of commons and community, preservation of wilderness and biodiversity, transition, resilience, renewable energy, water and waste management. We will also enquire together the issues of relentless urbanization and whether the concept of regenerative cities can be made a practical reality; Other areas touched upon will be legal issues for environmentalism, human justice and equity as well as political processes governance.

7. Deep Ecology

This is a 5 day retreat at a farm within the Sharavathi rain forest, a beautiful space with the simplest of modern facilities, conducive to explore our connectedness with Wild Nature. Through a group participative process as well as solo sessions in the spaces around, opportunities are available to get in touch with deeper aspects of our embeddedness in Gaia, our living Earth.

8. Principles & Practices of Holistic learning

Holistic Education by its very nature requires more practice and active participation. The participants of the Holistic Education course have the benefit of praxis through collaboration with the Prakriya Green Wisdom School which is located in the same campus. In addition the course will include:

  • Conceptual understanding of new mental and experiential models that can support holistic education.
  • Understanding of and experiential sessions on new modes of perception and process thinking as against object oriented thinking that is needed to journey deeply into holistic education.

This aspect is integrated throughout the course and further conceptual understanding is proposed for this module

Internship / Project work

  • During the period from Nov 9 to Dec 23, 2016 participants need to take up an internship with schools or education institutions that are engaged in alternative methods of teaching and learning and focused on the education relevant for today’s time. Alternatively the participant may take up a project for which she/he should submit a project proposal.
  • A participant may also choose to not take up internship / project work, in which case she will be awarded a certificate of participation in the six month of sessions at the Bhoomi College.

Assessment and Feedback

  • The soul of assessment we believe, ought to be the wish for the other to learn and grow. Participants are invited to make presentations, documentaries or reports for certain modules, on topics of their choice. The rest of the group including the facilitators may offer feedback and suggestions.
  • Sincere effort, maintaining structure and boundaries, keeping the deadlines and regularity are desired and appreciated.
  • Students completing the one-year programme with a fair degree of commitment according to the rest of the group will be awarded a Diploma in Science & Management for Sustainable Living by Bhoomi College.