The Peoples' Institute for Re-thinking Education and Development

The Educator's Unlearning Manifesto


“Unlearning is one of the most important processes we have to invoke and support in education if we are to find ways out of the global mess we have created. Unlearning opens an alchemical portal to reclaiming swaraj and shape-shifting into our expansive, inter-connected Self.

We invite all educators around the world to bring unlearning into their pedagogical vision:

- Unlearn TINA, limitless GNP and monoculture mindsets as well as the myth of technological progress and technological utopianism;

- Unlearn the fear of money, idea of life as a commodity and dependency on the global financial system for meeting our basic human needs;

- Unlearn the mainstream definitions of who is ‘educated’, who is ‘developed’, who is ‘wealthy’, what is ‘happiness’, who is ‘powerful; ’

- Unlearn the inner voice of constant comparison, artificial scarcity and competition and the idea that more and more consumption and stuff leads to more happiness and respect;

- Unlearn our dependency on big experts, global institutions, governments, corporations, continuous fossil fuel extraction and the West to solve all our problems;

- Unlearn our conditioned disdain of the ‘local’ as unhygienic, dirty, smelly, inefficient, unorganised, inferior, superstitious, backwards, unproductive, violent, etc;

- Unlearn the individualist, isolated Self and idea that we are separate from the soil, the trees, the rivers, the mountains, the deserts, the forests, the animals, the seeds, the bacteria. We need to remember what we do to them we do to our selves.

We should remember this unlearning journey does not only happen at the level of the intellect, text or classroom, but must involve our hands, our hearts, our cells, our intuitions, our relationships, our sensual experiences. My village grandmother and her larger Grandmother’s University was critical to my unlearning journey and to finding my way home.”

Manish Jain, Shikshantar Andolan, Swaraj University,

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