Aarthi Nandakumar

Areas of Interest & Expertise

  • Transformative Observation
  • Pedagogical Documentation in Early Years
  • Learning Spaces for Children
  • Unconditioning of the Adult
  • Adult-Child Relationships


Aarthi is a visiting faculty with the School of Education.

She has around nine years of teaching 2.5 – 6‑year-olds in International preschools in Indonesia and India. Her last role was as a pre-primary coordinator at Legacy School, Bengaluru. 

She has also fulfilled and thoroughly enjoyed interacting with adults during her roles as a professional development coordinator at Bunda Mulia School, Jakarta, and teacher trainer for Montessori diploma programmes at Sunshine Teachers’ Training Centre, Jakarta. 

Her explorations include observing little humans in their environment, observing and listening to them as they construct their world of knowledge. Her visit to Reggio Emilia, Italy inspired her to listen deeply to young children and document their lives. 

Aarthi developed a deep interest in transformative observation and unconditioning of the adult during her Masters’s degree programme at The Institute of Educational Studies (TIES), USA. It was then that she started questioning her own biases and their impact as an adult in the classroom. 

She loves to embrace and think about uncertainty, spontaneity and asynchronous development in children as well as adults.. 

Outside of her work, she loves to travel and have conversations with her friends and family.

Conference Presentations

  • Nandakumar, A. (2016, August). Absorbent mind: The unconscious creator. International Preschool Conference, Jakarta, Indonesia.
  • Nandakumar, A. (2016, August). Five senses plus the Stereognostic Sense. International Preschool Conference, Jakarta, Indonesia.
  • Nandakumar, A. (2019, March). Montessori for today: Adults and tools for the present-day environment. 5th OMI Conference, Jakarta, Indonesia.
  • Nandakumar, A. (2021, August). The Tao of freedom: How to humanise children’s spaces of learning. Virtual Montessori Conference on Principles of Freedom in Learning, Jakarta, Indonesia.

Chapter in Edited Book

  • Nandakumar, A. (2019). An ode to my Paati. In L. Germán & C.D. Han (Eds.) Speaking for Ourselves,1 (pp 50 – 52). Embracing Equity.