“We get angry when there is a terrorist attack, when there are floods or famines, but we don’t get angry because education does not prepare children to make the world a better place. We have to get angrier”.
Kiram Bir Sheti
One of the most exciting and effective contemporary educational movements we can find is, undoubtedly, Design for Change (DFC).
DFC is exciting because it has spread as a foam through 72 nations, because it values the ability of each child to start changing their environment right now, because adults talk less and listen more, because the voices of children are heard when they say not only what they have memorized, because the students say “I invented this” instead of “the teacher told me to do it that way”, because the steps of their methodology are simple, versatile and compatible with other methodologies or principles, such as the Identity Keys of the Piarist School.
But an exciting movement without efficiency is a “llamarada de petate” (duffel flare), that is, a very colorful, almost explosive fire, which in a very short time is extinguished. On the contrary, Design for Change is an effective movement.
DFC is effective because it causes changes from the root of each situation, because it works through a simple and operational framework, because it is demonstrated in the academic results of the Riverside School of Ahmedabad (where the movement was born), because the curriculum is focused on the student and not in texts with outdated information, because students acquire skills in the real world, because designers at an average age of 11 years have been able to carry out social entrepreneurship projects such as these:
Helping the homeless adults to get a job, building a seed sowing plane out f recycled materials, coming up with plans that have counteracted school dropout, the rescue of a partner forced into forced marriage, integration of immigrants into schools, preparation of biodegradable soaps, replacement of plastics, protection of native flora in different regions, construction of bamboo bridges to guarantee access to school, a digital app to guide the treatment of garbage, new parks for games and sports in different cities, transformation of public spaces that now guarantee security… And thus, we can continue with an endless list to which we could add whatever you are imagining right now.
We tend to identify educational movements with a person, an author or founder. DFC is no exception, but surely Kiram Bir Sheti will agree that one of the main reasons why this movement is exciting and effective is the fabulous team that drives it.
More than once I have spoken with enthusiasm about Kiram but, from now on, I express myself in the same way when I speak of Dominique Florisca, Asma Hussain, Nikita Desai, Pranay Desay and, of course, our great friend Monica Cantón de Celis.
It is a team that promotes education at international levels and inspires change in the world with passion and efficiency.
Finally, to illustrate this simple reflection and invitation, I want to quote something I heard a few days ago in Venezuela:
It was in that country where it is inevitable to speak daily about “the situation,” because really, things are extremely difficult there. I was surprised by the value of that young Venezuelan Piarist, committed to change through education, who expressed himself as follows: “I thank the situation we are living in because it has made us creative, active and supportive.”
Francisco Anaya Walker, Sch. P.