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By Allegeswari

The pilot project of the Back to Basics Design Education (BBDE) course first started at Siddharth Village School in 2014. This was organised in ten phases throughout the year and it emphasised on experiential learning.

The syllabus of the workshop was drawn and adopted from the Avishkar process of Siddharth Village and Gaia Education, and was conducted by trainers of the Team for Human Resource Education and Action for Development (THREAD, Orissa) and AIRCOD, Bangalore. This specific educational programme enables children to face different situations during teenage years and to prepare them for future.

The project is universal in scope and local in application and is based on the four dimensions of sustainability- Worldview, Social, Economy and Ecological.

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Why We Need Back to Basics Design Education?

A popular view exists that to correct the problems in the educational system in India, we have to get “back to basics”. Rather than focusing efforts only on reading, writing, and arithmetical skills - while being highly skilled in these areas is a great asset - something even more fundamental, something even more basic, is going “back to basics” i.e the principles of life, nature, and the planet. Thus, students are taught to become self-learners and learning from experiences offered by life itself.

During the BBDE session, the students underwent the hardship of facing fear and how to come out of the fear. The knowledge, attitudes and skills acquired in the subject are tuned in such a way that they take the responsibility of success and failure. The students are also taught how to:

  • change their attitudes towards a happy life,
  • how to manifest desires,
  • how to associate their thoughts and feelings with incidents in their life and find the reason for their success and failures,
  • how to tap the subconscious mind through the ten steps of success mechanism,
  • how to set goals and ways to achieve them,
  • identify the shadows hindering their achievement towards goals, and
  • resolve conflicts.

Learning is the key to survival. Because the environment and the human body constantly changes, the human brain needs mechanisms to adapt to these changes. Therefore, the students were taught about traps of perception, which helped them to differentiate perception and reality and move ahead.

The programme was intended to make children focus on their academics and other activities and make them aware of their feelings, thoughts and thereby develop an attitude of assertiveness. The session also facilitated children to help them know who they are and gave them courage to make choices and achieve their goals.

Understanding and analysis of present society, conducting effective group discussions and goal setting sessions were helpful to understand the need of strengthening the student community on different styles of leadership with the emphasis on situational leadership styles.

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We are happy to report that based on the research conducted to test the impact of BBDE on the students, 65% showed ‘good’ improvement in their studies after completing the course.

One of the students wrote to us afterwards:
“I am expecting 10/10 in CGPA from my class X examination. The BBDE has really helped me a lot in preparing myself for the the exam . Before studying as well as before writing my exam I did super brain yoga, which was very useful in refreshing my mind and inner self. During my exam, every morning I meditated 10 to 15 minutes and it help me to relax myself and also to get rid of my examination fear . In the third phase of BBDE we learnt how to organise ourselves and our works: I would say that this was the most useful during my exam. A month before my exam begin I planed out a timetable for myself, which was really helpful for me.” 

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Read more about Gaia Education's programmes here