The Poet’s School: A History of Patha-Bhavana and Siksha-Satra


Authors: Swati Ghosh, Ashok Sircar
Translated by Sarbajaya Bhattacharya, Sujaan Mukherjee

9789383660810 | PB | pp. 287 | 2021 | Jadavpur University Press

The Poet’s School traces the origins and history of an alternative educational system founded by the esteemed Indian polymath Rabindranath Tagore.

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In this book, the authors trace the institutional history of the Patha-Bhavana and the Siksha-Satra, two schools founded by Rabindranath Tagore which would grow into the famed Visva-Bharati, or the ‘world school’. Weaving together narrative threads connecting personalities from across the world who gathered at the Santiniketan ashram, the book maps the growth of these educational institutions against the backdrop of Tagore’s evolving philosophy of education.

Translated from the original Bengali, The Poet’s School charts the growth of the poet’s vision of an alternative educational system that challenged the social mores of a society under colonial rule. It captures the history of a unique experiment in education geared towards a life of free thinking, social service, creativity and self-sufficiency for its students.

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Swati Ghosh, Ashok Sircar
Translator: Sarbajaya Bhattacharya, Sujaan Mukherjee





Year of Publication:



Jadavpur University Press





Country of Origin:


About the Contributors

Swati Ghosh is an independent researcher and writer. She did her master’s in English from Visva-Bharati. She has authored numerous articles and books, which include Rabindrabhabnaye Santiniketane Alpana (2011), Kobir Pathshala (coauthored with Ashok Sircar; 2015), Prasanga Bouddhadharma (translated from, the English original by Sister Nivedita; 2015), Paye Paye Kolkata (translated from the English original by Prasenjit Dasgupta; 2018), and Design Movement in Tagore’s Santiniketan (2019).

Ashok Circar is professor at the Azim Premji University in Bangalore. He grew up in Santiniketan, where he studied at the Patha-Bhavana, and thereafter, the Siksha-Bhavana. He completed a PhD in Physics, and worked in the electronics industry for 15 years. Thereafter, he spent, a decade in the social sector and finally moved to academia, spanning a working life of around 37 years. He specialises in land governance, local democracy, civil society and women’s empowerment.

Sarbajaya Bhattacharya is a PhD fellow at the Department of English, Jadavpur University. Her areas of interest include travel writing, South Asian fiction, feminism, and colonial Bengal. She is also a freelance translator and works regularly with the People’s Archive of Rural India (PARI).

Sujaan Mukherjee heads the Research and Development department at DAG’s Ghare Baire museum-exhibition at the Currency Building, Kolkata. In January 2021, he submitted his doctoral dissertation at the Department of English, Jadavpur University, on the afterlives of colonial memorial monuments and spaces in Kolkata. Sujaan writes for the books page of The Telegraph and for Daak Bangla, and his research interests include archives, modernisms, history of physical cultures, and urban studies.


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