Memoir writing author, Geetha Waters, has taken her book of stories of her childhood to India to work with teachers and students in childhood education. She hopes to put many of the ideas raised into practice.
Geetha, whose book was launched in Sydney recently, studied at a Krishnamurti school at Rishi Valley in Andhra Pradesh, and draws on this experience in her writing.
She is working with former pupils, many of whom shared her experiences, to bring Krishnamurti’s teaching on education into practice in real classroom settings.
Krishnamurti is widely known as a philosopher but Geetha Waters is interested in throwing light on his work as a revolutionary 20th century educator.
‘He would famously warn his students about the impact of conditioning and urge them to observe the impact of labels on their minds,’ Geetha recalls.
‘I grew up in an environment during the 1960s and 1970s that was intentionally created to liberate human intelligence from the authority of the known,’ she says.
‘How the Krishnamurti schools approached this problem of conditioning is a matter of some curiosity, and I have tried to capture the sense of growing up with a form of inquiry that has inspired me throughout my life. Thanks to Krishnamurti’s holistic education at Rishi Valley School in Andhra Pradesh, I came to realise that using discourse and inquiry were pragmatic ways to understand how meaning is made as we engage with the world.’
‘Krishnamurti, or Krishnaji as we respectfully referred to him in India, made sure that the inquiry took place over the whole course of our education beginning from the early years, right through to the end of school,’ Geetha Waters explains.
‘Under his guidance, we students explored the movement of our thoughts and opinions.’
Geetha says she found the practice of memoir writing with her special educational interest very worthwhile. She promises to send us updates on her work with South Indian teachers and students as the program progresses.
Geetha Waters’ memoir titled ‘Road to Rishi Konda’ is available here at a cost of $4.97 and also available on Amazon ebooks. Photos credit Chris Waters.