UNESCO-NIE Centre for Arts Research in Education (CARE)

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Modern and traditional educational practices have both common and divergent themes. Flowering Tree Inc, a US based Foundation, has various projects that use a combination of both traditional and contemporary educational methods and principles. Education is seen as a combination of both inner and outer development, and is placed within the contexts of 1) family, 2) society, and 3) values. Some of the approaches used in Flowering Tree education projects will be shared in this forum. Questions of resources, the challenges of modern demands, and cross-cultural understanding in education will also be explored. Flowering Tree’s educational efforts in India include outreach to street and rural children, music and traditional arts education programs, community development, and participation and empowerment for women in the democratic process through legal literacy. Through her work in Flowering Tree, Sumita studies the question of modernity and tradition in livelihood and the purposes of education in a rapidly changing cultural and economic landscape.



Sumita Ambasta is a co-founder of Flowering Tree Inc. She holds graduate degrees in Business, Human Development, and Sociology. Previously, she had a corporate career as a Human Resource professional with several international organizations. However, it is primarily her real life experience as a mother, as well as a traveler who has lived in different countries and cultures that informs and inspires the content of her work with Flowering Tree. She combines experiential ongoing learning with ideas in her work with Flowering Tree. Her work in education focuses on integrating inner and outer development in children and adults through different ways. She recently co-authored a scholarly paper on music education in India, in the guru-shisya tradition, based on her experience as a mother with her son’s music education, and as a cultural observer of cross cultural themes in modern educational practices.

19 January 2011
NIE NIE3-01-LT10 National Institute of Education, 1 Nanyang Walk, Singapore 637616

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