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New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts ​hello everyone my name is woody Goyal thank you for coming and thank you for staying my thesis is titled corner changing perspectives on learning in Hindi kona means angles angles of sight or point of view and today I'm going to talk about my point of view on learning in India a recent New York Times article says India is winning the battle to get children into school but it is losing the war only some of these children are getting an education ninety-six percent of children below 14 years of age are in schools right now but only eighteen percent reach college the same article quotes Rukmini Banerjee the head of animal status of Education report India she says now in India you don't need to explain to everyone that kids need to go to school but that they need to learn and understand that has another ten years to go I saw several efforts to improve the quality of learning and pedagogy in India the experts I spoke to all talked about experiential learning and improving teacher training in fact India held its first international education experiential education conference last year but when i came across the movies cooling the world white man's last burden another perspective emerged the movie talks about how the Western education was designed to prepare children for jobs created by the rich jobs which are scarce and lead them to a consumerist world leaving indigenous cultures to die Abhijit Banerjee at MIT poverty action lab echoed this and said we have a culture that if that is inherited from a colonial education system which was explicitly aimed at recruiting an elite class that was going to work for them why is education being imposed on children for social convenience it's education only about preparing us for jobs and while everyone was talking about improving pedagogical methods and delivering curriculum in the best way my thesis questioned the curriculum itself in 1974 Yvonne Ilyich in his book d schooling society discussed how the curriculum is a commodity with packaged values and meanings and is made marketable to the mass and unfortunately this still holds true in most parts of the world one of the experts I interviewed Ranjini sehgal executive director of a leading NGO in India strongly believe that the country did not need more doctors and engineers as much as it needed better citizens according to her teaching reading writing and mathematics is a challenge but the bigger goal is teaching them how to think and that really stuck with me through my thesis why shouldn't learning focus more on thinking and reflecting rather than rote memorization and passing exams in my earlier prototyping phase I iterated simple tools for children which could trigger thought and activate reflection I created looking inwards the game of introspection the game was played with two dice with two symbols two sets of symbols one die expressed emotions like love and hope and the other added context you your community or your country giving the user a unique combination of concepts to thread and think about for example if the yellow dye says gift and the green one size country it could drive children to imagine what is that gift I want to give my country or what is the greatest gift my country has given me I took this prototype to India where I conducted a day-long workshop with 50 children and more than testing the success and the failure of the prototype the immersive experience left me oh well and inspired all of them drew and wrote beautiful things but rather than expressing themselves fearlessly most children were anxious to know if what they were doing was right or wrong they had been conditioned to follow rules and methods talk to them it cited me to see how imprisoned they were by the fear of failing and not meeting expectations why is philly failure stigmatized who creates these standards Yvonne Iliad in his books dealing society writes that it is necessary for a child to encounter failure and for there to be breakdown of order to cultivate creativity I explored this further by imagining a future where there is seamless delivery of the curriculum and students don't feel anymore and this future world wants to bring back the last watchu of failing with this hypothesis I created objects that are failures in their own right by being contradictory or point seemingly pointless for example think of a dictionary which does not have meanings but prompts you to write your own or post it which doesn't let you write solutions but makes you find some or a round-eye that rolls and rolls and is ambiguous when it stops the product essentially products essentially blurred the lines between the functional and the dysfunctional in removing any distinction of right and wrong this became a provocation tool for children as a book with images and questions like why can't it mean why is it not or why can I not while speaking of failure I had a few of my own during my thesis and yes indeed led me to better paths I created an event at Madison Square Park in March it was an experiment to see if children could imagine their futures future aspirations beyond the boxes of Korea choices we have created for them and I think if I could help them expand their aspirations to pursuits like being an explorer inventor healer and so on children could choose a sticker from a spirit animal activity and super tools and put it on themselves they would set out on an imaginary mission of an explorer inventor a wizard etc and while all of them works excited to express themselves in their new avatars and put

on stickers and their favorite colors they're froze when asked to imagine what a mission of an inventor healer could be through this exercise I not only realized the complexity with balancing structure openness but also conversation as being critical to any instructional design it was a very valuable lesson I had designed the experience for children since the foundation of education starts at a young age but I knew that I needed to create interventions at the age group struggling the most teenagers teenagers in India feel pressured and obligated to conform towards scarce Korea choices and job market when they're at the age of finding their own identity and voice to address this I designed a service evoked a learning movement evoked empowers teenagers with life skills and helps them develop independent thinking the lesson ideas are crowd sourced from experts and I developed as document PDFs audio video files games and workbook it could launch as a great pedagogical resource spreading out to be more widely used by teenage students conceptually I knew I had the answer giving students the access to new forms of learning from experts through a digital platform however I quickly realized that what I really needed to do was get these students off their phone and into their hands because in order to learn one has to get their hands dirty perform actions and fail and that will not happen behind screens besides if school should exist they must create an environment where children are encouraged to think independently to question and not be passive and not fear failing when I asked children about their class experience no matter introverted or extroverted there was a common low point in their energies and spirits this is the time when the teacher is teaching or testing children are not excited to be in schools the total lack of motivation and interest becomes a major cause for children to drop out why is education only about learning about the physical world and never learning about self John Dewey in his book education and experience wrote that the mere acquisition of information is not going to prepare children for a better future I wanted to bring back the analogue quality of the dice the virtue of conversational instructions as a scalable and affordable classroom tool and after several iterations and testing I created a game called Kona new angles to learning driven by changing what and how we learn in classrooms this game is designed to engage small groups of children of 8 to 12 years in collaborative constructive and thinking a collaborative and constructive thinking and doing corner covers for Brad aspects of learning and creativity investigation learning about everything around us reflection learning about ourselves imagination envisioning a new world and revision for a new way of testing and recapping for example if we play the imagination game and pick the card a trip to Mars the yellow dye asks us what we're excited about and the green dye incites us to think about our failures and apprehensions after discussion with friends we throw the blue dye which for example asked us to create a story and act it out the game has an affinity card for each student to motivate them to play more I envision partnering with an all with all india radio which could hold instructional sessions every friday morning to dedicated time to the game and help train teachers I had a teacher in Bronx have her students try the game these are some photos she took in her words the game fostered really authentic conversation between them it was really nice hearing them expressing the extent of the knowledge about the topic and building on each other's ideas she also said that it became more engaging when the group size was only six kids and they all took turns playing with their body language very engaged in the activity these are examples of what they made a treasure hunting machine and a story explaining the consequence of leaving garbage out in the Star Wars Prasad shri prakash who runs mine spark the computer center for kids where I conducted my previous workshop also reviewed the game according to him it is very valuable that this game touched on aspects and topics that teachers don't usually think about the game can be translated across different languages and can be easily made with available materials it is an appropriate design solution with potential for worldwide use and scalability it eventually gives children permission to express reflect and not think about right and wrong it is a game changer education is the foundation of a generation and needs to go beyond schooling we need to give children the tools to question ignite curiosity and believe that they can make a difference and through this to thesis I looked at parents teachers teenagers kids high tech and low tech but ended up with a set of dice but which received incredible attention and appreciation a humble set of dice is sometimes all it takes such is the power of design thank I have to ask about the Star Wars trash what was the hardest thing ever oh so it starts with the consequence of leaving garbage out you're not supposed to leave garbage out in the star wars are no you're not supposed to leave garbage out in general and it shows like Star Wars characters it's telling everyone to like Nike did you leave that coffee cup out kind of stuff is really cute join so movie number 8 I guess we know the plot yeah very excited for that I mean I had to like really look for that story that guard too and I was not sure no part of a designer's job to kinda retro actively give meaning to things this thesis was really challenging because it was an emblematic of one of the challenges and design which is designed at a distance and designers get criticized all the time for this that they have this grand vision of what they want to fix its around the other side of the world they don't really know anything about the culture they don't have any access they're not there and it just really points to the hubris and sort of ridiculousness of thinking that you'd be able to make a difference at the same time I've seen some really

amazing interesting projects done at a distance so you're I mean you had you had both right the best of both worlds when were you when did you first test in India this past winter holidays well I've always been talking to people and I've also I started volunteering for two ngos when I started this thesis to get more in touch with people over there to get my resource plus also insights as to where is the most problem right now and and that's where I started getting more resources of experts and like talking to people and then somebody really helped me getting some some contacts where I did my workshop so worked out like that thank you for sharing you know what you what you would talk to us was about a failure it looked very fun in madison square park but it's interesting that you were able to acknowledge what you didn't get from it that you thought you were looking for and also i think it might have actually changed the terms of success for you it's it's really wonderful that you said your words were so eloquent at the end about you know all it might take is a is a few dice such an humble such a humble scalable no tech solution the feedback you got from it was pretty extraordinary right yeah I've been really excited about it so I really wanted to create something hands-on when I workshop with the kids it was really in my mind that I you have to create something which they can work with with their hands they're not in touch with mobile and they have to go to a computer center to actually like access digital things and they were so excited but with even like a closed folded paper and like what is that and so so curious already that just I needed to create something which could I be as a prop for their own interaction without any teacher guidance which yeah it is amazing you know this generation really growing up native to screens and iPads you know toddlers and be very interesting the design challenges for designers of having to put back what's been taken away for all the wonder of it all Thank You vide thank you CUNY Law School, Long Island City.