Going Around the Path of Learning Together: Part 1

 2020 saw the biggest education crisis in the history of mankind. It is hard to imagine another moment in history when the central role of education in the prosperity of our country is so obvious and well understood by the general population. This is an opportunity to chart a vision for how education can emerge stronger from this global crisis than ever before. 

It is in this spirit that we launched the Bhumi Fellowship in October 2020 with our first cohort of five fellows, who are working towards laying out a map to harness innovations in low-income schools and help reduce educational inequality. To know more about each of them visit- fellowship.bhumi.ngo 

As a part of the Fellowship Program, the team has been organising Learning Circles with the fellows.  Learning Circles provide an opportunity for everyone to be heard, creating a sense of equality and an environment in which everyone is involved in working to create the best possible outcome. They often stimulate high involvement and mutual respect. We have gathered some notes from our fellows about their views and feelings about the Learning Circle recently organised by the Fellowship Team.

Here is what they shared, we hope you enjoy reading their accounts as much as we did;

Abhinaya Sridharan

For me, Bhumi’s collaborative spaces have always been something I look forward to because I feel I get to know myself and my team better this way. This learning circle was no different, as I felt we covered so many key skills in a short period of time. Through the sessions, we focused on key competencies under the leading self, leading others, and leading impact. While these skills are relevant for the work we do, they also have changed the way I perceive challenges outside of Bhumi, as well. 

Through the training, I was able to unlearn and relearn new things. As soon as I resumed working with my stakeholders, I saw a major shift in the way I dealt with the challenges that came my way. I was in a better position to analyze the root cause of the problem and apply my learnings in order to devise solutions for the same. Especially through the focus given to Human Centred Design, I felt closer to designing sustainable solutions for the community I work with. This Learning Circle was different from the initial training period at the Bhumi Fellowship Institute because I knew my context better and was able to constantly connect the issues I face in my work with the possible solutions that emerged from our discussions.

I also greatly benefitted from the interactive atmosphere that was enabled by the Program Team as well as my co-Fellows. We agreed and disagreed with each other, but by the end of it, we all walked out with perspectives different than our own, with which we walked in. I am grateful for such an opportunity and I look forward to more such spaces. This has been an all-rounded learning experience that has made me more confident in my abilities and has opened up newer avenues of skill development. 

Anjali Sarmah

To me, Bhumi’s Learning Circle was a journey of growth both, as a teacher and as a person. Each session challenged me on both fronts and pushed me to broaden my horizons. My biggest takeaway was the idea of teachers being leaders as this is something I’d never thought of before. All the other sessions tied into this for me – whether it was being resilient, listening and responding styles, and long-term planning. Today I’m extremely conscious of the fact that my words and actions can leave a lasting impression on my students. I also found the process of learning to teach Numeracy very stimulating. Honestly, it isn’t easy as it is poles apart from what I was taught in school, but that makes it all the more enjoyable. 

I remember a conversation with our program manager where he said, “…we were going to call it a training session but later changed it to a Learning Circle because we’re all going to learn from each other.” This seems like a simple thought but it left a great impact on me. As a learner, I was made to feel that my participation and opinions were valuable in enhancing the quality of the space. Moving forward, this is something I wish to convey to my students as well, as they are at the center of this entire programme after all. 

Continued on Going around the path of learning together: Part 2

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