Who are we?
The Learning Centre (TLC) was conceived in 2015 by Anjuli Kaul Padte and Nandita Deosthale based on their understanding, learning and experiences in both formal and non-formal spaces and is part of their umbrella organisation, Furthering Education. Anjuli and Nandita are supported by a team of dedicated, enthusiastic, gentle and qualified facilitators and parents who contribute in a variety of ways ranging from guiding, admissions, administration, finance, event management, sweeping, gardening, the list is long.
At TLC we hope to form a community that works together in supporting our children and creating a seamless movement for children between their two primary spaces of learning, home, and TLC.
Nandita has been actively involved in educational environments for over twenty years. While at Kodaikanal International School, she was part of a team that set up their Human Resources Department. Later at the United World College of India, she designed and implemented an experiential learning curriculum for more than a thousand students from over sixty five nations, created partnerships with at least thirty NGOs to enable this learning, and established their Office of Advancement. She has taught classical and folk dance, organised and run short courses related to environment, development, art, religion and service learning for students from across the world.
She is an active unschooling parent and co-founder of Furthering Education, The Learning Centre and Open Learner's Collective. A self-motivated leader and team player, she brings to The Learning Centre her experience in building and managing organisations while working with children and young adults with optimism and spontaneity.
She enjoys reading, dancing and swimming.
Anjuli has been a teacher for all of her adult life. She has taught Hindi, Social Studies, Mathematics, Environmental Geography and Physical Education to students from the ages of 10 to 12, and History, Political Science, Human Rights and Epistemology to students from the ages of 13 to 19. Over the years she has also put together and led student field trips and hikes, helped develop and align curriculum, been an active member of academic affairs committees, and has written on education for various journals and forums.
Guided by the understanding that education is a moral endeavour, she has been involved with TLC since its inception in 2015, has helped to guide its growth over the years, and has grown in the process herself. Her commitment to education is informed by her interactions with brilliant teachers, wide reading, and an abiding faith in the transformative power of writing, theatre, organic farming and attentive living.
Our structure is non-hierarchical where leadership is held by the person most qualified to do so for the requisite function. For example, all matters related to curriculum are led by Anjuli, whereas matters related to emotional well-being by Marlene and macro affairs by Nandita.
Respect is earned and not expected because of one’s age or grey (matter or hair) and the everyday running of TLC is decided by students and facilitators together. Based on this equality, we are all on a first name basis, have facilitators rather than teachers, and have the space to play multiple roles regardless of age/gender/socio economic status etc.
Divya has worked in the language education space for over ten years in the areas of curriculum and course design, materials development, professional development for teachers and language teaching. As a language teacher/ trainer, she has worked with learners across age groups and has also taught English as a foreign language to school students in France.
Her enthusiasm for working with young children - across disciplines spanning language arts to mathematics - has brought her to TLC as a full-time facilitator. She enjoys reading, watching (finely crafted!) cinema, indulging in amateur bird watching and photography, and swimming in the ocean.
Chiara Barbieri is a Dhrupad practitioner and singer.
She is a disciple of the eminent Dhrupad Maestro Pandit Ritwik Sanyal with whom she is still learning in a non academic way, following the oral tradition.
Coming from this experience of learning, she shares the same approach during her classes, motivating the students to search for the beauty in their voice and in the tonal approach.
She performs in India and abroad.
Nathan is a passionate explorer of the world of science, and he directs his thinking through the lens of Mathematics. While tutoring twelve year olds his passion for this abstract language of numbers and symbols took off in a new direction.
Apart from solving puzzles and equations he believes in integrating Math with other disciplines like art, music and story-telling to explore new ways to make math more fun and connected to life. He enjoys reading on a wide range of topics, but more specifically on Neuroscience.
Nathan enjoys being immersed in nature, hiking a trail, rock climbing and swimming in the ocean, worlds where mind meets body.
Manuka has been a facilitator in the arts and mental health sector for 8 years. Her work spanned from advocating, social prescribing and assisting with independent living for young adults with autism, to promoting mental health awareness and setting up community centres and spaces in Leeds, UK. Her focus has been around social engagement and building relationships by working with a variety of individuals on a one-to-one basis, through wellbeing, creative coaching, group facilitation, and peer-to-peer support.
Her passion for music has gradually grown to play a significant role in her approach. Since shifting to working online with individuals with alzheimers and autism over the pandemic period she learned the significant effects music, songwriting, and imagination have on individual wellbeing and the benefits to using them as tools to support social and emotional learning.
Outside of TLC you can find her either performing in intimate cafes, at her favourite pizza spot, or on the floor surrounded by scraps of fabric (which later transform into upcycled accessories).
Sudeshna has been a teacher for almost three decades in a variety of socio-cultural environments: public schools (Bhilai & Bangalore), Engineering & Management College (Bhilai) and Spanish students via online platforms. She has worked with young children, post graduate students and even professionals.
Apart from teaching subjects like English, Hindi, Science and Geography, she has participated in, and coordinated, co-curricular activities and other institutional duties involving planning and evaluation. She has always tried to be a diligent mentor & counsellor to her students. Her experience of working across age groups allows her to meet challenges in flexible and creative ways.
She is adept in many arts and crafts, loves singing, dancing, reading and gardening, and has a keen interest in learning through travel.
Anindya 'Roy' started teaching at the National Institute of Design (NID, Ahmedabad) in 2007, where he conducted courses for the Transportation Design programme, created curriculum, developed a network with professionals in the automobile industry, and facilitated exchanges with overseas universities. He continues to remain involved with NID, periodically conducting course modules as visiting faculty.
Roy's association with TLC started with a set of hands-on workshops held outside of TLC's regular sessions. Since 2019 he has been a part-time facilitator at the centre, building curiosity and enthusiasm for the sciences in its students. His approach to teaching relies strongly on accessibility and connecting knowledge with first-hand experience.
Roy holds a degree in architecture, works as a freelance product designer, and is a practical-minded DIY enthusiast.
Maneesh is a trained architect and has worked on natural resource management projects for meditation and yoga in a variety of geographical regions. These integrated design with functionality, and included spaces for farming and permaculture. This deepened his understanding of ancient sciences and problem solving methodologies. He brings these insights to his practice as a facilitator of young children. He is interested in blending the arts with scientific and cultural research to tell a story, and is currently designing a project that combines writing and art for children and adults.
Maneesh likes swimming, walking in forests, whistling and telling jokes.
Musharaff is a qualified architect with a background in natural building. She has worked with the natural building awareness group "Thannal hand sculpted homes" in Tiruvannamalai, where she focused on documenting traditional homes and construction methods. Her journey led her to appreciate the interconnectedness of everything and explore the possibilities of hands-on creation.
Musharaff has since delved into various crafts and skills, including permaculture, furniture making, crochet, origami, and macramé to name a few. She thoroughly enjoys learning new things and finds joy in creating DIY projects.
At TLC, she facilitates craft sessions that involve macramé, weaving, making puppets, sewing and origami. Additionally, she is currently pursuing classical guitar and exploring the world of music.
Mukund is a bio-architect and social artist who believes that formal education taught him everything that he is not supposed to do in life. For this reason he developed and started using play as a medium of learning. His own learning is drawn from travelling and learning from different cultures and their mythological stories.
He co-founded KHEL, a cycle cart designed to take “school” to street children who could not afford formal education. This eventually took him to Warriors Without Weapons in Brazil, a leadership immersion programme. Here he learnt how to empower communities through participatory architecture. He continued his journey to Turkey where he travelled nomadically, doing hands-on work and helping train people in becoming self-sufficient architects and builders.
He is the founder of the art platform SOCHALAYA and co-founder of OBARUHU, an architectural nomad community. Through these he wants to bridge the gap between art and architecture using community participatory methodologies.
Currently he offers sessions at TLC on how to connect with the artist's brain and to embody the art itself. Sessions include awareness through the body followed by translation of it in the form of an artistic expression. Techniques introduced in the art sessions include optical illusions, asymmetric tessellations and asemic art (unifying text and image).
Bikram 'Momo' Ghosh is a theatre-maker and teacher. He's a founding member of the Tadpole Repertory, New Delhi, and the founder of blu fish: an initiative encouraging theatre and creativity as a vehicle for recreation and healthy living. The focus of the initiative is to empower people creatively and critically, giving them the means to engage with theatre practice and discover through performance, the links between life and art.
His practice is rooted in mindfulness and play, using performative games and imagination exercises to explore and negotiate innate impulses and associations; fostering curiosity, inviting creative influence and collaboration, and creating circumstances for ‘flow’.
He is currently working on Chickens, a devised theatre piece about the relationship between human and non-human animals (particularly those we farm for food), and the entangled nature of culture and consumption.
Snigdha is a biologist, and a science and nature educator.
She believes that Science is best learnt through curious exploration- of one’s backyards, local ecosystems, kitchens, toys, and general tinkering, and that taking learning outside of classroom walls and opening it up to the wilderness fosters a deep love for nature and it's beings.
She has been teaching science at alternative schools for 9+ years, and had worked with educators and schools across India, striving to make science fun, experiential, and relevant for children. She now looks forward to exploring Goa's rich ecosystems with TLC children.
Outside of being a full time teacher, she is learning to be a naturalist, and someday she would like to build a nature lab for curious children and adults.