Everybody can be somebody

Education to build lives that have meaning and purpose.


Through this post, I will talk about the problem and a brief idea of the methodology, I would like to follow for this project.

Taking a systemic view

Figure 01 -System mapping

Figure 01, is my first iteration of the system map. Here I have tried to map out the existing players of the education ecosystem and have made some interconnections. The purpose of this map is to help me see a bigger picture and try to identify wicked problems. Although the system is vast and involves a lot more interconnections, I managed to identify 3 problems:

1. The government policies — directly have a huge impact on the system and hence if we have a top-down approach it might bring a change

2. The system of evaluation — the system of evaluation has its connections to the counselor because grading leads to a competition and not everyone is prepared to participate in one.

3. The current system is divided into boxes, the curriculum is just a bunch of subjects that students are exposed to, they are not interconnected and work in silos.

I intend to refine this map at regular intervals during the course of the project.

The problem

This statement clearly represents a gap between what we are taught and what is actually needed by the world.

How can schools be designed to prepare young people for a fast-changing world with increased needs for circular and systems thinking along with skills for a future that will be very different from the industrial age of the past?

Research shows that the top four competencies required for students to approach complex challenges were found to be critical thinking, creativity, communication, and collaboration. (World Economic Forum Report)

This very much validates my assumptions about attaining a balance between art, design, and science, calculus to solve problems.

Coming from India, I feel we still follow the traditional approach of theoretical subjects and quarterly examinations. Most of the creative subjects are present early in the education in the form of ART or pursued separately — out of the school from external tutors depending upon the interest. This was again completely optional and considered as extracurricular/hobbies. In fact, that’s exactly how we mention it in our CV. But is it really a hobby? Why do we need to visit separate tutors for this? Why the separate treatment?


So, given that every child has their own interests and talents, why do we all have to go through the default set of subjects? What happens to non-academic students?

When our communities require a diversity of talents, how do we achieve them?

Is evaluation the best means to motivate students to study? Does it help the students or the school?

All of this boils down to the question of how are modern schools building knowledge and capacity for the children, or are they just reinforcing the same old industrial model which was designed to prepare the workforce.? And how will this knowledge help the children who have to deal with a future that is constantly changing and riddled with complex problems?

Study to build your CV

It's like dividing the education system into boxes of career roles and then helping the students chose one rather than letting the students identify or discover their own role. And between all of this how do we encourage innovation or entrepreneurs?

60% of future jobs haven’t been developed yet and 40% of nursery-age children (kindergarteners) in schools today will need to be self-employed to have any form of income. (Our education system is losing relevance. Here’s how to update it, 2021)

This indicates that there is a clear gap between skills learned in schools and the demand for job opportunities.

The rising need

This means that we are in clear need to redesign the system that incorporates the thinking of the future and outbreaks the linear and dominant model of today. To accommodate this we need creative and cultural education that can motivate students to think outside of the boxes, look at problems and identify opportunities. Creativity helps children find what they are good at and help them embrace it. To address this there is a need to blend academics and creativity to raise academic standards. This process will raise self-confidence and self-esteem leading to the rise of the overall performance of children.

“Every child is an artist, the problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up”- Pablo Picasso.

How do we encourage creativity?

As a designer, this is where I would like to step in. I would like to understand and explore various ways of creative learning and how we can tie it into the current education system.

What if...

What if there was no separation between Creative and academic subjects

What if learning was made more project-based rather than knowledge-based

What if teachers could learn new ways of teaching that could make education more informal and less competitive

What if we inculcate learning through collaboration by sharing knowledge and experiences

One important thing I have learned from my design journey and past projects is collaborating with stakeholders and learning through failing. Learning through collaboration not only brought efficiency but also made the process fun and interesting. I realized that there are many ways you can look at collaborating- one is obviously the knowledge and experience you gain through project work and on a personal level it made me patient, understanding, a good listener, and most importantly, taught me some team management skills.

If you want to go fast, go alone… If you want to go far, go together — African Proverb

Failing always meant that there is a better answer to this problem and motivated me to go find it. In my current program, where I have interacted with diverse people, I have understood the importance of culture and collaboration. Building trust and sharing knowledge is a skill that comes in handy while problem-solving and the world has far too many problems to be solved.

So how do we equip the young generation with these skills?

“All of us do not have equal talent, but all of us should have an equal opportunity to develop those talents.” — US president John F. Kennedy in 1963

The approach

Why RTD- because it is the process of continuous ideation, prototyping, and testing while researching and improvising. It will be important to interact and co-design at the early stage of the project to do critical thinking. I feel RTD as an approach fits in best as its flexible structure would help me identify problems and test solutions at various stages leaving room for iterations and redefining the concepts.

I would like to focus upon the 3 key elements during my design process

  1. Co-design workshops — I believe that workshopping will help me see the bigger picture and also build trust with the stakeholders.
  2. Rapid prototyping and Gorilla testing — Since I want to use RTD at the initial stages, I would like to build quick prototypes/concepts and show them to stakeholders to get their views and opinions.
  3. Testing to evidence the impact — From my initial research, I gathered that Creative learning or creative education is not a new topic, in fact, a lot of conversations, development, and improvements have already started to happen in this area. I would like to use this opportunity in my favor. How — I would like to thoroughly test my concepts with various stakeholders and try to demonstrate the evidence or

I would also like to approach this subject from the perspective of Indian education where the current education system is still traditional, encouraging the students to be glued to their seats for hours in schools followed by extra tuition at home.

Potential topics I would like to explore under education

Learning through collaboration/ buddy system

Changing the approach from Knowledge-based to problem-based learning

New teaching models


Stay tuned for more posts on the progress of my project and some of my learnings.


Interview, T., 2021. Sir Ken Robinson (still) wants an education revolution. [online] Ted.com. Available at: <https://www.ted.com/talks/the_ted_interview_sir_ken_robinson_still_wants_an_education_revolution> [Accessed 11 June 2021].

Book — Creative Schools by Ken Robinson.



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