This is a week long experience where kids and educators come together to learn and understand how to reimagine education. It is an array of sessions and experiences that build a sense of possibility as the participants learn from real life examples of kids, educators and organizations who are working towards creating safe spaces for kids and educators to work in partnership with one another so that kids can be change makers to make our world a better place.
Shaheen Mistri - Collectively we can create something beautiful!
A mandala is symbolic of the continuity between creation and destruction. Tibetan monks draw mandalas and destroy them as a ritual in order to celebrate life.
What did the kids and educators make mandalas for and how?
On chart papers and colorful sheets of paper, the participants were asked to make drawings and illustrations of how they imagined a ‘reimagined education’ would look like.
They were asked to arrange the sheets in the shape of a mandala.
The participants were then asked to share with one another about -
What did they draw?
Why did you draw it?
How did you feel?
Next, the participants were asked to pick up different papers and they were asked to tear all the sheets or crumble them. The act of destruction helped everyone understand what loss or failure feels like.
The participants were then asked to share with one another about how they felt when they saw their illustrations being destroyed.
Then, the kids and educators, together arranged the destroyed pieces of paper into a separate beautiful mandala. This act of creating something together made everyone feel the power of the collective and understand how we can create new dreams even after we face challenges.
The activity was then closed out with the participants sharing about how they felt when everyone worked together towards creating a single mandala design.
Aditya Natraj and Kaivalya Foundation - Deepening our impact.
The 108 kids who were selected for the Revolutionary Retreat are already changemakers in their own right. On the second day of the retreat, they went through a day-long experience that helped them understand how they can deepen and increase the scale of their impact. The day was hosted by Aditya Nataraj, who taught the students how entrepreneurial skills can help them mobilise themselves and each other towards creating a better world.
How did the kids learn more about change?
Kids and educators started off by getting to know each other. After which, they split themselves in city-wise groups.
The facilitator then conducted an activity where the kids had to think of a minimum of 10 ideas that can be executed on the premises but they all needed to fail. The groups then discussed the possibility of different ways their ideas could fail.
Furthermore, they had to explore anticipating and taking risks, mitigating risks, creativity, initiative and overcoming inertia in the execution of these ideas.
The kids then designed a road map for this idea, chalking out how they will go about achieving this vision, and high lighting the possible roadblocks.
Next, in their city groups, they brainstormed and identified one problem they wanted to solve for their city.
For this problem, each member of the group suggested possible solutions that were all noted down.
Then collectively, they chalked up a plan for the steps they need to take to solve this problem and the approach they will use to review their progress and impact.
While closing out their small group discussions, the group members shared how they’re feeling, what they learnt, and any questions that they still had.
Each of the teams then took some time to put together creative presentations of their problems and solutions.
All the participants then got the opportunity to witness everyone’s performances.
Museum of Grey Sunshine - Witness the truth of the education system!
Kids and educators experienced today’s truth of inequity, stared into a mirror of what we do today as individuals and as a nation, and understood what needs to change.
Watch the highlights for Museum of Grey Sunshine from KER Week 2020!
Experience the museum from the National Summit in 2019!
Beautiful You - Love yourself for who you are on the inside.
The intent of this activity was to empower participants by identifying their own strengths, enhancing them, and also building an ability to notice others’ strengths and appreciating them. This activity involved some degree of creative risk, which was new for some participants. This was also a medium through which participants could indulge in self expression in a safe and effective way.
How did the participants strengthen their self-esteem?
The session began with an ice-breaker where participants had to say what their strength was and strike a pose that represents the respective strength. Everyone in the room did the same and together formed a group sculpture.
Next, the whole group was divided in pairs and the participants had to trace their body on a chart paper with the help of each other.
Everyone was then asked to reflect and think about what was beautiful about them - it could have been a behaviour, skill, quality, or even a dream.
Then, all of these beautiful things about each person were to be drawn and illustrated inside their body outline on each of their chart papers. The goal was to use either images or colors or both and fill their outline with as many things as possible.
Upon completing their drawings, they had to share with their partners and just listen to each other, completely and wholly.
The session closed out by everyone sharing their thoughts on the following with the large group -
How did they feel when they drew themselves and then shared the drawings.
They also shared insights they observed as the participants shared their drawings and stories of self. This was a really intimate time where people talked about their bodies and their inner lives.
Riverside - Holistic assessments for a holistic education
This session was facilitated by kids from the Riverside School from Ahmedabad at the National Summit 2020. They highlighted the fact that our current assessments are an inaccurate way to judge a child’s growth as our current systems just look at academic numbers and they overlook the child’s personality. They took us through different and alternative forms of assessments that could be used in classrooms to get a more holistic understanding of a kid’s growth.
How did these kids create the need for alternative assessments?
The session started with the facilitators asking what should be the criteria that they should be considering for assessments. When one of them suggested the existing report cards, the others responded saying that our report cards don't capture the complete essence of each child as a person.
Then they tried to explore other forms of assessments such as using adjectives and values to explain one’s personality or even using art as an alternative.
The participants were then given time to reimagine assessments by brainstorming and coming up ideas.
Some of the ways they presented which could be used are -
Portfolios and citizenship - which are regularly documented reports that encapsulate a students’ performance in academics, classroom behavior, and how they are leveraging their strengths and skills.
AIR and Camps
CTC and Client camps
Lastly, they presented that the Feel-Imagine-Do-Share framework can be used to assess our kids.
The session ended with a question answer session to clear any doubts.
Ravi Gulati and Rebecca Crook - Learning from your own story!
The lifemaps session was an exercise in introspection into the experiences of the participating kids and educators. It helped them acknowledge and recognize moments of value, of challenge, and of commitment through which they explored their personal leadership style. This space also provided multiple perspectives from various experiences and a set of diverse participants. This was made possible by creating a safe space where everyone’s stories were shared and listened to respectfully.
How did they explore their journeys?
The large group was broken into small groups of 10-15 kids and educators.
Using A3 sheets and art supplies, while sitting in small circles, they introspected for 20 minutes in solitude and created each of their life maps.
Each group had a mentor for asking questions or for thought partnering or sharing any type of feelings.
After they completed their life maps, the mentors facilitated sharing in their circles, by holding space and moderating.
When everyone was sharing, everyone focused on listening attentively and empathically.
Back in the large group, the session closed with some popcorn-style sharing, where a few people were heard to understand what stood out in each of the small groups.
How did the participants learn from their own journeys?
The facilitator, Rebecca Crook, took the group through the power of storytelling and how a story can be told using a tool.
She introduced the group to the following resource -
What did you do to address the challenge?
What is the fruit of your work?
What is your dream for your community?
What challenges have you
and/or your community
Who are you?
What are your values?
What are the moments that have shaped your commitments?
My leadership story
Each small group discusses the questions from the above resource - from roots to trunks to branches.
Then, each participant wrote down the answers to these questions.
Combining all the answers, each kid and educator curated their story from their personal journey.