From the Western Ghats in 2019, InDEC went to the Himalayas in 2020

Amukta Mahapatra

Founder, SchoolScape, centre for educators;

Director, Montessori Elementary Course

Amukta Mahapatra, founder of SchoolScape has been associated with the field of education since many years. She has worked with small schools and also developed programmes that have been implemented by the education departments across a state or many states in India. Wherever she has worked, she has fought for the child’s right to live and learn spontaneously.

She started her teaching career at the The School K.F.I, the Krishnamurti Foundation India school in Chennai.

Later, as the first principal of Abacus School in Chennai, she enabled Montessori practices from preschool to high school, to be seen from a contemporary perspective.

While working with UNICEF, she helped to develop a Quality Package to be implemented in government schools across ten states.

She conducted a training programme called the Professional Development of Teacher Educators for the faculty of the DIETs (District Institutes for Education and Training) in Tamil Nadu. The education department took the evolved modules forward and trained 200,000 elementary teachers across the state. This was the harbinger for the ABL programme for primary schools to be developed and later implemented in all the 37,500 elementary schools in the state.

She has organised many national and international conferences and is the initiating force for the movement of democratic education in India, under the banner of IDEC and InDEC. She has participated and presented papers at national and international seminars.

She has published articles and papers; her work has been mentioned in books and reports on best practices to be taken forward.

Besides this, she has interests in the fields of craft, philosophy, indigenous knowledge and wildlife.

Priya Rajagopalan

Priya Rajagopalan

Senior Faculty & Mentor, Montessori Elementary Course

Priya Rajagopalan​ is a trained Montessori Educator with many years of experience as a classroom teacher and a teacher trainer.

​After completing her AMI Primary diploma (to work with 3 to 6 year-old children) from IMTC Bangalore, she started her career as a Primary guide in Abacus Montessori School, Chennai. She later pursued her Elementary AMI certification from Ireland and worked with an ​AMI recognized school in the USA for over 20 years as an Elementary Teacher, Coordinator and Elementary Pedagogical Director.

She also completed the Adolescent training from NAMTA​, USA​ and supported the school as Intra-school Liaison, to ensure pedagogic integrity across levels. 

​She has worked with SchoolScape in a variety of roles over the years, as ​a consultant, faculty member and trainer. She has supported some of the school projects too. She has been the key faculty for many of its teacher educat​ion ​programmes, including the one-year Montessori Elementary Training Course. She has been​ a faculty​ member​ for​ the ​ Center for Guided Montessori Studies CGMS, USA for a few years, delivering Montessori lectures and overseeing student teachers.

​​Priya also worked with other educational institutions through iDiscoveri Education Pvt ltd. where she designed and delivered workshops/training programs for school leaders, teachers and parents ​of various progressive schools across India.

Based on her work with teacher education in the Kingdom of Bhutan she was invited to draft the enabling conditions for Inclusive education and Multi-grade teaching for Bhutan’s National Educational Framework.

She has been an honorary Director of the Education for Peace initiative of Prajnya, a social organization working on Gender, Peace, Justice and Security for many years and published a paper on a study of the State and NCERT textbooks as seen through the lens of the Peace Education guidelines outlined in NCF 2005.

​She is passionate about the Montessori philosophy, something that guides all her work with children and teachers in any context.

She enjoys art and craft with recycled materials and has a keen interest in creating hands-on learning aids with locally available materials. Her other interests include music, camping and hiking.

From the Western Ghats in 2019, InDEC went to the Himalayas in 2020

Nalini Tanguturu

Faculty & Coordinator Montessori Elementary Course

Management Team, SchoolScape, centre for educators

Nalini Tanguturu comes from a technology background, with ten years of professional IT experience in India and the USA.

After returning from the US, she got interested in Montessori education. She trained to be an elementary Montessori educator at SchoolScape in 2017-18.

Nalini worked as an Elementary teacher in Montessori schools, where she helped in setting up environments for children. She has also been a faculty​member ​for ​the ​Elementary Montessori Courserun by SchoolScape from the past two years.

Combining her global IT experience with her Montessori knowledge, Nalini has been instrumental in setting up the online platform for Montessori Training at SchoolScape.

Nalini describes her experience of working under Amukta as a career defining one. She has not only been able to realize her inner calling towards Montessori philosophy, but also been able to become an able administrator.

Gracy Kingsley

Gracy Kingsley

Faculty & Team member, Montessori Elementary Course

Gracy Kingsley is a Post Graduate MBA (HR). She completed her Diploma in Montessori Primary teacher training from IMTC-Chennai in 2003 and later completed the Montessori Elementary teacher training from Sharanalaya Montessori School in 2016.She holds a B.Ed and Diploma in Special Education (Autism). She is undergoing the Trainers training Program for Elementary with SchoolScape.

 Gracy has extensive experience working with children since 2003 in Sharanalaya Montessori School, Chennai in both the Preschool and Elementary levels. She  started as a Montessori teacher and then became the Principal, which she held for seven years till 2020. She has experience training and mentoring teachers during this time, while she set up and managed the school..

Gracy Kingsley

Maya Shakti

Faculty, Montessori Elementary Course

Maya Shakti is a trained Montessori Educator and Integral Education researcher. She has many years of experience as a classroom teacher, with school management and teacher training.

​She pursued two B.Ed.’s, one in Science of Education (Mathematics/Science for elementary), and a second in Pedagogy (Montessori 0-6, 6-12, 12-18/ Learning Study/Didactics with final thesis on Erdkinder), both at Universities in Sweden. She lived and worked in Sweden for many years, participating in the running of a farm kindergarten and afterschool centre, heading a Montessori kindergarten, and many years working as a class teacher in Montessori schools with children age 6-15. She also offered material workshops in the Montessori teacher training program at the University of Gothenburg.

In 2012 she moved back to the international township Auroville in Tamil Nadu, India, where she also spent her childhood. She worked with teacher training for several years, co-created the Teacher Centre and supporting teachers and schools in Auroville through workshops and consulting.  Over the years she has also offered teacher training workshops to various schools in India. The aim has been to integrate new practices that include more child centred and activity-based learning in schools working with more mainstream methods. Since 2015 she is involved with management and facilitation in The Learning Community, an integral school for children age 6-15 in Auroville.

With an interest in global change, Maya has also studied the UNESCO initiated course “The Global and Exploring Teacher”, has taken part in several of the international AMI organised Educateurs sans Frontiers Assemblies, and follows the Democratic Education movement.

She has since the past years been involved with action research on the practice of Integral Education, and is presently pursuing a M.A. in Education for Sustainable Development at Gothenburg University to deepen in this field.

Other than her passion in education as a tool for change, she enjoys gardening, cooking   and travelling.

Faculty

People from India and other countries are included as faculty for different areas and subjects. Those who have experience working with children are preferred. Those who are willing to learn, unlearn, work as a member of a team, guide students in a collaborative manner are those who have grown with this experience at SchoolScape.

With an internship programme for becoming trainers, the team evolves with mentorship and reflective practices built-in to the process, as one continues to teach and learn.