What is TLC+
TLC Plus is a 4-year learning programme (equivalent to grades 9 through 12) aimed at expanding the experiences, understandings and knowledge of
14 - 18 year olds.
We welcome both current TLC children and others who wish to undertake this journey with us from June 2022.
In Braiding Sweetgrass, Robin Wall Kimmerer reminds us of our need for respect for all that the earth and its living beings provide us, to take what is given, to take little, and to not waste.
Respect is not altruism but a connection with the living world, “of life flowing into life”. We have a Responsibility towards others, in how we regard ourselves and treat all life. “Paying attention”, she writes, “is a form of Reciprocity with the living world, receiving the gifts with open eyes and open heart.” How we spend even money is an exercise in reciprocity: is it a purchase worthy of the lives (trees, animals, soils, oceans) consumed?
“One of our responsibilities as human people is to find ways to enter into reciprocity with the more-than-human world. We can do it through gratitude, through ceremony, through land stewardship, science, art and in everyday acts of practical reverence”.
- R. W. Kimmerer
Using these three Rs' as our foundational pillars we present to you our TLC+ programme.
Unfolding out of our experiences and understandings of The Learning Centre (TLC) since 2015, building on our collective imagination, our study and play, we have envisioned TLC Plus. Our attention to multidisciplinary and experiential learning with both tangible and intangible learning outcomes have created a dynamic yet stable learning environment for children at TLC. We now wish to extend this to older learners who will, in addition, be able to reflect on their place in the “living world” with an attendant spirit of respect, responsibility and reciprocity.
Starting with foundation courses in the humanities, sciences and the arts, we will explore these in depth over time. All courses are designed to include experiential and theoretical features, with regular guidance by teachers, facilitators and mentors.
Service learning and community engagement, travel, reflecting on the nature of knowledge (its production and consumption), and ethical considerations in human choices, lie at the heart of the curriculum.
Assessment will be largely of a formative nature, with options for independent study culminating in public examinations (after the second and fourth years).
The Arts of Expression
Language and literacy are supported throughout the curriculum. However, it is in the language arts curriculum where we build skills of reading, writing, listening, analysing and representing in detail. Through language arts, we hope to provide young people with a tool to communicate as well as to understand social practices, relationships and their position in this world.
English, Konkani, Hindi
Graphic Arts, Theatre and Music
Drawing/sketching, painting/charcoal, music
(vocal/instrumental, dance, drama)
Humanities and the Social Sciences
The curriculum will explore socio-economic structure and our relationship to it, civil and political rights, historical impacts and empathetic reading of the same, as well as an understanding of how we understand ourselves in relation to the rest of life.
It will be an integration of :
Physical and Human Geography,
Political Science, Philosophy,
Life & Physical Sciences
Our interdisciplinary approach highlights the links between the “subjects” within this domain. Mathematical thinking enriches the understanding of many branches of the science curriculum; on the other hand, the latter provides a wealth of examples and explanations (of natural phenomena, historic breakthroughs, how things work, the chemical composition of life itself) which presents a context that can be suitably used for the former.
Bodymind and Health
Our emphasis on cooperation, as opposed to competition, leads us to teach physical, mental and social wellbeing through our offerings for functional health information (essential knowledge), for personal values and beliefs that support healthy behaviours, for group norms that value a healthy lifestyle, and for essential health skills necessary to adopt, practice, and maintain health-enhancing behaviours.
Martial Arts (Kalari, Tai chi)
Outdoor Education (Camping, Swimming, flora and fauna identification, cycling and walking),
Yoga and Meditation
Cooking and Nutrition
Our mentorship programme draws from a pool of invested co-learners who are willing to share their time, experience and expertise to guide and support learners on their journeys.
The mentor will be an active listener and have a collaborative relationship with the learners, providing a much needed one on one interaction that will strengthen both the regular and a personalised programme.
The relationship will provide a safe space for students to explore their academic choices, help them personalise their TLC+ programme and also share the complex narratives of several aspects of their lives: social, emotional and existential. With these insights, mentors can connect learners to the larger community outside TLC, with respect to apprenticeships, workshops, counselling and other such opportunities to further their education.
Service Learning and Community Engagement
It is in this component that all our theoretical knowledge, our skills, our travel experiences, coalesce: why do we need to engage, the manner in which this engagement must be undertaken, and how will we evaluate the outcome of our intervention.
This requires us to demonstrate our knowledge, to question our biases and positions, to confront local and global issues and look for viable solutions to problems. Founded on the principles of interdependence and reciprocity, through these engagements we can better understand ourselves and our/other communities and create space for personal (and sometimes social) transformation.
Travelling is a way of learning through movement across a landscape.
The programme focuses on the group coming together in a spirit of respect towards each other as well as the geographies and cultures they are travelling through. Travel is more than tourism and entertainment: it raises questions about the impact of travel on the physical and social environments of people and “wild life”, its sustainability and its possibilities. It is our hope that learners will learn to reflect on these and find reasonable travel options that “leave footprints and take memories”.
From self-driven assignments, to facilitator suggested explorations, individual or group, projects are an old and valued learning method. The acquisition of knowledge, basic research skills and/or hands-on manipulation of materials will make these “projects” meaningful and satisfying demonstrations of talent and competence. In addition to smaller independent assignments, all students will execute at least one major project over the course of Year 4 of the programme.
The National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) and Cambridge IGCSE are invested with the authority to assess and certify learners registered with them upto pre-degree level courses. Should students elect to take these examinations, TLC Plus will guide and support them. While our programme is designed to enable this, our aim remains the three Rs: Respect, Responsibility, Reciprocity.