New On Our Site

Download this year's Annual Report here

See our online photo albums and student videos on YouTube

Our annual batch of handmade cards from recycled paper are now available. Email us for details. Also check the Student's Crafts Store for more.

Join the debate on what role progressive education can play in social progress and rural change on our online discussion forum

Thank you for visiting and Zindabaad ! Long live the search for meaningful alternatives.

Alternative education is about educating for an alternative,
more sustainable vision of the world,
not simply about alternative methods of learning. 

Founded in June, 1998, Adharshila Learning Centre is school for Adivasi (lit. 'first dwellers', indigenous tribal) children in Sakad village of southwestern Madhya Pradesh, India. We titled it a "learning centre" to get away from the rigid, didactic stereotype of mainstream education.

Inspired by Paolo Friere, Gandhi's Nai Talim and other visions for a people's education, we work to foster student curiosity in social issues.The centre places value on community-centric, environmentally connected, student-led exploration as a method of learning. 

How Adharshila Works

Adharshila, located on a rural six-acre plot, is a place dedicated to learning. Children begin their exploration by understanding the fundamentals of language (English, Hindi and local Bareli), mathematics and logic. At the same time, they learn organic farming by managing their own plots. Social science and science are learnt through questioning and experimentation.

Older children lead or assist classes for the younger groups, along with staff members and volunteers. They share what they learn with the children of surrounding communities through Baal Melas (childrens fairs), cycle yatras (cycle tours) and other means they devise. They spend time learning from the community though oral histories and exploring local traditions. Among hundreds of projects over the last decade, students have conducted surveys, made documentaries, plays and films, displayed art, created newspapers and maintained model farms to share their learning with the community.

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