Prakriya Green Wisdom School


The Prakriya Green Wisdom School was started by the KNA Foundation for Education in 1999 and has a focus on the “Gaia” Philosphy which means that  proposes that orrganisms interact with their inorganic surroundings on earth to form a synergistic self-regulating, complex system that helps to maintain and perpetuate the conditions for life on the planet. The schools focus is two part: humanizing education through experiential learning with a deep concern for understanding the inner nature of every child in a process they label as “holistic learning” and learning from nature as a means to promote sustainable living.  Prakriya’s unique approach to holistic learning encourages each individual to reflect on their own experiences and to empathize with the experiences of others. The school also looks at systems thinking in terms of education which integrates matter, life and mind. Prakriya defines itself as a middle path school which meets the rigorous standards of the Indian Education system while incorporating child-centric and alternate educational methodologies. Prakriya is affiliated to ISCE, New Delhi and IGCSE, UK.
 
EACH alignment at school
  
Innovation:
  
Prakriya’s approach to learning is concentrated on the child as a whole and they look at education through a systems lens. The school looks at 4 core aspects of a child – spiritual, emotional, physical and mental. They bring in empathy, teamwork, creative problem solving and leadership through their curriculum and culture. Some of their innovative practices include Multi-Aged classrooms, Panchbhoota curriculum and their sustainability curriculum.
  
Curriculum:
   
Prakriya follows a Holistic approach to education deeply understanding the child as a whole rather than parts of a whole to ensure their development into a contributing member of society (change maker).   The Pre-primary school uses an Emergent Learning Curriculum by Reggio Emilia (Italy, 1991).  In this process, a facilitator goes in without a script and the students choose the topic of study based on their personal experiences and known interests. The school also has Thematic Learning Classes are centered on Panchbhoota elements for primary students. This curriculum consists of all the 5 elements – Jal (Water), Vayu (Air), Prithvi (Earth), Akash (Sky) and Agni (Fire) Each element is used as an overarching theme for the common subjects like Math and English and the students also learn about emotional intelligence and psychology during circle time.  For example, water (jal) is significant for fluidity and the children learn about the flow of energy and how their personal flow in life may be blocked when they hit life obstacles and while talking about Air they also bring in the element of personal space etc.
  
Culture:
  
At Prakriya, Education ought to be about owning up and caring for the “commons” to teach each child about responsibility and ownership. Teaching the students to “walk-the-talk” means acting in accordance with their beliefs despite any negative pushback that may come their way and to have ownership of their actions is at the core of what the school believes in. 
The teachers act as a facilitator or mediator in the classroom and there is a belief that a hierarchy should not exist between students, facilitators, and staff.  Therefore, they address themselves as “facilitators” or “co-learners”. Additionally, the school had accepted a group of village kids who are from the economically weaker sections even prior to the implementation of RTE. The learning environment that evaluates people for “who they are” instead of “what they do” helped the children integrate into the school well. 
  
Systems:
  
All facilitators and administrative staff attend highly participative “self-exploration” sessions in 4 to 6 day retreats. The school strongly believes that the facilitators do not just take in their content into the classrooms but take their whole selves so they must feel completely aware of their feelings. The staff understands their psychological tendencies based on their own personal experiences to reflect on the energy and bias they may bring to a classroom environment. Parents are required to attend at least 2 meetings in the year to discuss general issues parents & facilitators are concerned about.  When children go through the admission process, parents are asked to express interest in volunteering with the school by stating their interests and hobbies.  
 
Influence
 
The schools influence can be seen through the Bhoomi Network, founded by the KNA Foundation in 2007, is an on-campus entity that is an offshoot of the Prakriya School.  The Bhoomi Network hosts conferences every other year that integrates Prakriya facilitators and in the past covered conference topics like “Economics of Happiness,” “What’s a Good Life,” and “Yugaantar.” The most recent conference, which happened in April 2016, was based on the Yugaantar period which means the transition between the crises spewing industrial age and a more ecological age which is coming now. As an outcome from this conference, the Bhoomi Network and other partners want to create an online platform or a resource hub for practices around holistic education and sustainability. The Bhoomi Network also publishes a quarterly magazine sent to over 4000 schools and college libraries. The Bhoomi Network also provides year-long post-graduate programs on Holistic Education and Science & Management for Sustainable Living near the Prakriya Campus.
    
Prakriya focuses on three main things 1) Learning from Nature 2) Becoming conscientious Earth citizen 3) humanising education. Their processes such as respecting diversity, living simply, tuning with the rhythm of inner and outer nature, looking at things wholistically, weaving in the complex and the simple along with part and the whole stem from this focus 

The school has 2 Change Leaders because they cannot decide which one of them should be the change leader. One is the Director or the school – Durga Sitaram and the other one is Sudha Ravi, the Head Mistress of the school.Durga joined the school as a parent and was very excited about how the school took care of small aspects and looked at the element of “humanizing” education. Durga then joined the school as a librarian in 2005 and then worked her way up to become the director of the school. Sudha Ravi joined the school as a facilitator in 2003 and now is the Head Mistress of the school. She saw great value in Prakriya’s teacher’s retreat where she learned a lot about herself and how to mentor the teacher community. She strongly believes that emotional well-being allows an individual to reach their maximum potential and creates a sense of well-being in the community

The Prakriya Change team consists of 15 members which includes facilitators, students, parents, support staff among others. The school was approached by Ashoka for the previous panel but they were not interested earlier but then they got back to us asking to re-consider their candidacy. They also spent time in speaking to other Changemaker Schools in the network to see how we could add value to them and how they could add value to the network. The team was very particular that they could have bandwidth and are aligned with Ashoka’s philosophy to partner with us. This shows that they have really thought through this entire thing really well and will be engaged with us to work towards an “Everyone A Changemaker” world.They spoke about how they have been engaging with other stakeholders through the Bhoomi Network but now they are interested to get on to the Ashoka Network to engage, learn and share with other schools who are aligned with each other.

# 70, Chikkanayakanahalli Road, off Doddakannelli, Sarjapur Road, Bangalore-560035. (about 7 km from HSR Layout) Phone: 91-80-28440925/ 91-80-28441172 E-mail: prakgreen@gmail.com