What does Everyone a Changemaker look like?

The Ashoka India Changemaker Schools Network had a productive and insightful discussion about EACH in education prior to the arrival of Bill Drayton on Friday!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday afternoon was set aside to re-connect with our CMS community and discuss what Everyone a Changemaker, or EACH, looked like in action.

8 school representatives were able to join us for the event: Shalini from KC Thackeray Vidya Niketan, Naveen from Headstart Learning Centre, Sri Vidya from TVS Academy, Avnita from RN Podar, Jyotsna from Gramin Shiksha Kendra, Riti from Digantar Vidyalay, Pallavi from the Heritage School, and Ashok from Muni International School.

 

The two day get together started on Thursday with some activities which got the group thinking about how our individual life stories actually hold many similarities which have led us to grow into unique and dynamic Changemakers.

We followed this with a discussion about “what is your vision for education and your school”. Responses included :

 

 

  • The best education approach allows people to find out about themselves and others while being given the right amount of time and space- Naveen, HLC
  • Education is not meant to deliver knowledge, but to teach young people how to learn- Ashoka, Muni
  • The purpose of education is to make the generation going ahead conscious citizens- Pallavi, Heritage School

 

Sharing our larger visions for our work led into questions about challenges and what stood in the way of achieving this; i.e:

  • Getting all stakeholders on the same page;
  • Redefining societal ideas of what success looks like and what is required to be ‘successful’;
  • Finding and retaining teachers who hold similar approaches

However, since we are a team of Changemakers and Problem Solvers, and not trumpet tooters and finger pointers, we did not stop there! We started thinking about how these challenges could be and have been addressed by our fellow community members.

We discovered, that for almost every problem that was posed, there was someone else in room who had discovered a way to solve it.

  • One school discovered that parents did not understand or agree with their limited attention to testing. By inviting the parent to be a part of the school via volunteering/working, the parent was able to see and understand the inherent value in this different approach to education. A similar case was presented by a school who sought support from their local government officials.
  • Another school addressed concerns over finding and retaining male teachers who can serve the dual role of teaching as well as being a positive role-model for young boys. The respondent found that if they ensured there was at least 1 or 2 parent volunteers in the room, it would create a safe space for the teacher to work without fear of receiving negative attention due to social stigma surrounding male teachers teaching female students.

So, what do we mean when we talk about Everyone a Changemaker within education?

We mean that everyone, be it a man, woman, teacher, parent, government official, student, or anyone else, has an important role to play in the development of a child.

We mean that, as Changemakers ourselves, it is our responsibility to ensure that those around us are given a safe space to work, learn and grow.

We mean that, when everyone is given an appropriate chance to participate and contribute, new solutions to old problems can be found and what was once considered a ‘weak spot’ can be turned into a pillar of strength.

To see our Storify post from Bill Draytons' visit, please see: https://storify.com/AshokaIndia/why-we-all-need-to-raise-changemakers