We have collectively and individually explored the natural learning process- (how children learn, how learning happens in communities etc), creativity, culture, cognitive damages of modern schooling, how education kills cultural rootedness etc for several years (10 to 30 years) and have worked in several learning situations- schools, artisan communities, design and architectural education, social work etc.
While working 20 years in a regular social organisation for rural people , I lately started realising the damage schooling is doing to children, especially village children.
After leaving that organisation now I stay in kurunji, a small village 70 kms away from pune city ,2-3 days a week. I am trying to understand the dynamics of the community there, how they are bound by traditional festivals, how they BE in nature , how they lead harmonious, contended and peaceful life. I am associated with the govt school in this village. Here I try to practise natural learning philosophy with children, connecting learning to their life.
Jinan has spent more than 25 years researching on learning process, cognition, aesthetic sense, children, traditional knowledge system, design and architecture education. He believes that introduction to text in early childhood years damages our cognitive abilities. He draws his learnings from researching, living and working with indigenous communities."My enquiry has been rooted in experience. I stopped reading in 1990 or so and this re wired my cognitive process and stopped reasoning as a way for comprehension. My cognitive source shifted from books/ words to the world. observation/ attention/ awareness/ experience became by cognitive process and self organizing became the process of comprehension. Automatically reasoning stopped functioning with in me.This means understanding began to happens! Nature, children and the 'illiterate' are my teachers/ guides in this journey"
"I am an American who, in essence, stumbled into Sadhana School where I met Jinan, Ranjana, Reva and Amol for the first time. Through the course of my time there, my carefully guarded ideas about education, children, learning, and knowledge (the list goes on) were abruptly uprooted. Since then, I have been re-designing my life experiences and beliefs to rediscover what I thought I knew. Amol incidentally is now my husband and we are raising our 2.5 year old son outside of Pune without the intention to "school" him. Simultaneously, I am training to become a "modern" midwife (a professional birth assistant) and am very passionate about childbirth experiences and natural birth".
An engineer by profession, Amol has worked extensively in the field of ecology, water conservation, the reimagining learning project. His interests include in-depth understanding of learning, language, sculpting, carpentry and living naturally. "Breathing rural and tribal life. Grown up in a town where roads to the school and colleges have always passed from farms, rivers and small hamlets. Never able to adjust with artificial appearance of modern education and profession. Strongly bonded with earth. Driven by being, Present by attention. Ably tasted the essence of CHILD in NATURE“.
Reva has spent more than a decade working with children, adolescents and adults - understanding education, wisdom and natural learning. She has been studying and practicing process work facilitation. Self-exploration, human behaviour, patterns, intuitive learning are her areas of interest.
Narendra's association with indigenous communities and ecology goes back to over 30 years when he undertook extensive field-research spread over 1980-85 in Abujhmad region of Bastar on a United Nations University and CSDS (Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi) field-research project, Tribal Perceptions and the Modern World. Though the project formally concluded in 1985,the undersigned continues work on the thematic to-date through similar field study activities in Bastar on issues of adivasi traditional modes and institutions of governance, notions of forests and wilds, ecological-cultural expressions, Adivasi survival in market economy, ecology, knowledge and learning, and livelihood as also the strength thereof for sustainability.He has organised conferences and workshops on Bastar Adivasi cultural-anthropological issues as Idea of Property and Ownership: Tribal Perspective, Bastar; Convergence: Art-Craft-Ecology Traditions; The Baigas and Traditional Tribal Learning, and Traditional Healing Practises; Adivasi Governance; and Ecology-Learning-Livelihood amongst others. He has also delivered talks and lectures on above issues at University of Turku, Finland; University of Helsinki/Group of Citizens, Finland; India Social Forum, New Delhi; World Social Forum, Nairobi; Delhi University; Gandhi Peace Foundation, National Adivasi Alliance amongst others.He ran an unregistered, informal organization in Bastar, DoE (Dialogue from the Other End). It is an attempt to nurture and revitalize pristine Adivasi ecological-social-cultural traditions, practices and skills and help meet the awesome challenge of Modernity on the strengths of their own ecological-cultural worldview and practises. Such an attempt has necessarily to reach out deeper and in ways that may not register in visible dramatic ways. It is rather an attempt at strengthening and continuing some sun-terrainean, slow and small ecological-cultural processes in the community. Above all, to re-create the disappearing conversations on land, water, forest and social-ecological cohesions in everyday living that sustained the unique Adivasi way of life.