While enrolled at THINK Global School, students are encouraged to be creative during the course of their studies and travels. When the students document these thoughts, we are often delighted with the results. In “The Ajanta Caves as a modernized school,” 11th grade student Isaac F. uses his imagination and Google Sketchup to help illustrate how our modern classrooms bear a striking similarity to the Ajanta Caves.
Can the Ajanta Caves be used as a modern day education center?
This question was my main focus during our recent trip to the Ajanta and Ellora caves. Before visiting a couple of weekends ago, I had read that the caves were used for teaching traveling monk students. This made me reflect on myself and TGS, as we are a traveling group of students learning from a multitude of locations. For example, although we do not collectively study the Hindu faith, we do all follow today’s curriculum — including core classes. So I made an important line linking 26 centuries of history which shaped my research idea for our trip. Again, what is the relationship between then and now, and if I place myself and my peers in the cave, what other resources will be necessary in order to have a successful, running, modern class?
After visiting Ellora and Ajanta, I was inspired to create this project and a few others, which I’ll save for later. Here, you’ll find a short reflection video on what I had learned during our two days in the caves.
If you would like to view my 3D recreation, you can:
- Get Google Sketchup for Mac or PC (don’t worry, it’s free and it doesn’t bite!)
- Afterwards, download the file
To further research:
- Ellora and Ajanta (video): a bunch of B-Roll that gives you a perspective of what the caves are like
- UNESCO – History of Caves: thorough description of both Ajanta and Ellora
- Indian Heritage – Ellora and Ajanta Paintings: describes significance and historical importance of paintings
- Initial caves were carved with chisels and hammers in 5th century BCE.
- Built for teaching Jainism, Hinduism, and Buddhism to monk students.
- Secluded from nearby settlers; monks went in for studies and outsiders rarely entered.
- Main figures (Buddha, for example) are located at the front of the room’s interior.
- The layout of a cave and today’s traditional classrooms are practically identical.
- Paintings and sculptures in caves teach lessons of faith. Likewise, depending on the class, chalkboards are used to teach lessons in the classroom.
- Teacher is faced and respected by students at the front of the classroom.
- Modernized Ajanta cave classroom = your local school.