What Design Educators of Today Can Learn from Ancient Indian Rishis of the Past


Ancient India has a long and illustrious history of learning and education. The teachers or Gurus (who were basically rishis or sages) in Gurukuls, Ashrams and Universities like- Taxila, Nalanda, Vikramshila, etc. played a vital part in this. There are several examples from ancient India that stand out and have valuable lessons for educators today and in the future. One example comes from Takshashila University, where Acharya Brahaspati uses a novel method of evaluating his student of Ayurveda before he graduates. Another example is when Maharishi Uddalaka describes how he teaches without any physical infra-structure. These instances demonstrate unique assessment and teaching methodologies. The purpose of this paper is to present instances like these and more in greater depth that illustrate key lessons for a design educator based on a literature study. The paper emphasizes various directions through takeaways that may be worked on and improved. Teachers and educators (both novice and experienced) will find the concepts useful in strengthening and improving their role as a teacher and becoming an educator in its truest sense.


Abhishek Srivastava
Student, PhD, Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, Uttaranchal, India

Sonal Atreya


Presentation Type

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session


Design Education


Teachers, Educators, Rishis, Takeaways

Digital Media


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