Centred around the idea of ‘story’, Katha’s unique curriculum, or StoryPedagogy, created and developed by our Founder-President Geeta Dharmarajan, has been in use in Katha learning centres since 1992. The principles of StoryPedagogy are based on India’s traditional storytelling practices and on the 2,000-year-old treatise, Bharata’s Natya Shastra. Katha sees story as a powerful, uniting tool in nation building. The pedagogy, over the past two-and-a-half decades, has shown new ways of looking at teaching, learning and making learning child-centred. Tapping the transformative effect of story, Katha has, over the years, seamlessly connected grassroots work in education, teacher training and publishing.
The environment when Katha started was not too conducive to education. Almost thirty years ago, the 42nd Sample Survey showed that children dropped out of school not only when they were working to support the family but also when they found school boring and dull, and the lessons irrelevant. The challenges of integrating relevance and fun and excitement (that most of us who knew what a book holds) into an experiment in Delhi, was beyond doubt. When we look closely at the beginning and the first students Katha worked with, we found they were working children – it seems that story as the basis for children who had gone without schooling till they were 7-14 years old; the children who were going school were struggling to read their school textbooks, children who spoke the language fluently and traded in it, but could not read or write it; children whose parents were non-literate and thus learning happened for them and their grandparents through means other than the written word – through story – and story seemed a good way to start off. India in the past had a tradition of “gurukul”, an Indian Atticus style which we believed in. Speech. Debate. Interaction and right action. Hence our founder Geeta Dharmarajan thought that if they could listen to stories and follow along “Indian Atticus-style” familiar stories, written simply, with a finger on each word, child on lap. The result was visible: a story and personal attention was getting a child reading and learning. And this was the beginning of StoryPedagogy.
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A3 Sarvodaya Enclave, Sri Aurobindo MargNew DelhiIndia110 017
Phone number(s): + 91 11 2651 4373
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