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.
Marlene has worked for six years in the field of education in the role of Child Psychologist, Special Educator, Facilitator and Counsellor. She has worked specifically with children with autism and special needs with a focus on building inclusive and holistic learning spaces across various schooling environments including Montessori and Waldorf. During this time, she has also assisted in the development and running of a centre (in Mangalore) for counselling and remediation to address the psycho-social needs of children and students: from the elementary school level until graduation.
Her area of interest has always been to study the role of play, art, and music and their contribution to holistic child development. As facilitator and counsellor at TLC, she is focussed on inclusive and individual needs, and social and emotional learning.
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.
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.
Bindu has been a Taijiquan practitioner since 2011. She is setting up a practice of Yang style tai chi at TLC. She believes that tai chi helped “resolve her internal contradictions” both as a professional in the advertising industry and as an activist protesting / resisting the ills of capitalism and patriarchy.
Bindu is inspired by indigenous communities - the Tarahumara tribe inspired her to take up barefoot running; working with the Samburu tribe taught her to live in harmony with nature; Gond art practice teaches her to pay attention to details; and the Piraha tribe brings her focus to living a life of kindness.
She hopes that her sessions at TLC will allow us all to engage with the boredom of repetitive movement (of the body) in order to observe a radical change in the mind.
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.
Liza Sreedharan is a Waldorf trained educator who has been teaching for the last 32 years. She ran a Waldorf inspired learning centre in Goa for 28 years. She has conducted workshops for practising teachers at GVM, Nirmala Institute of Education and Centre for Excellence. She also conducts workshops for parents and children.
At TLC Liza does an art program with the 5, 6, 7 and 8 year olds. The art sessions give the children the opportunity to experience various mediums such as crayons, colour pencils, the drawing pencils, soft pastels and water colours. The sessions also include movement and awareness exercises, games, poetry and storytelling.
Other than education Liza is passionate about wild life and the natural environment, animals of all kinds, scuba diving and cooking.
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.
Mukund 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).