Shishuvan believes that every learner comes with a curriculum of her/his own. The school is an environment in which learners find the support for their learning. We trust and respect this purpose and provide the resources for the same, thereby keeping the onus of learning on the learner. We enjoy nurturing our students' curiosity, applauding their willingness to apply themselves in establishing and honing their skills. Additionally, we ensure socially relevant exposure to widen their contact with and perception of the world.
Our students grow themselves into unique individuals, through the relationships they build with their teachers, peers, office and support staff, their social, political and aesthetic environment, classrooms, playing fields and homes, animate and inanimate objects, books, media and all other human beings. The teachers’ importance in the life of the students is invaluable. It is through them that students relate to the subject matter that forms their academic curriculum as well as to the value systems that sustain their soul’s journey through life.
We realize, that only when learners seek knowledge, does it become possible for those from whom it is sought, to be teachers. We also know that the child is not always the learner, and the adult is not always the teacher. This understanding lends itself to the “Shishuvan pedagogy”: everyone participates in the building of a curriculum, in teaching and learning, since that is a human need. The school becomes a meaningful space – every child has a reason to be here, since they too have a say in what they wish to learn. There is no hierarchy in such a classroom; teachers and students call each other by their first names, listen to each other with the same level of respect, learn to experiment and innovate, take their own decisions and deal with the consequences, and take responsibility for their own learning.
To revel in the spirit of community living, the school celebrates every festival by acknowledging the key message or rationale for the celebration, without the accompanying rituals. The assembly prayers include those of every community. The uniform is Khadi cotton in a unisex kurta and pant, that ensures the children are comfortable in indigenous attire, and establishes the equality of the sexes for the school. The cloth for the uniform is woven by a women’s co-operative, thereby supporting the livelihood of artisans.
Such a pedagogy is challenging and exciting for the teacher. The school believes in providing lifelong learning to add value to teachers’ degrees and previous experiences. Parents also receive support through enriching and empowering workshops and individual sessions by the counselors and teachers. Shishuvan encourages the celebration of differences: we believe there is space in this universe for all individuals to express themselves, contribute, and live a full life.