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My name is Vikramaditya. I am an inventor and Creativity Catalyst.
Creativity in Education is a subject that I am extremely passionate about the fact that I chanced upon this challenge is definitely not a coincidence.
As a child, I enjoyed inventing and creating my own toys. The reason I still do it today is because it was a non-judgemental activity which I enjoyed. I didn’t look for validation from my parents or others. And hence I continue it today because it gives me pleasure and that’s what creativity is all about.
I have been teaching (rather influencing) Creativity in children for a little over a decade.
I say influencing, because Creativity per say cannot be taught but it can be taught about and influenced. 99% of us are born creative and till about 6 years for the most part, we do not differentiate between creativity and intelligence.
Education takes over in years 7+ and from the 3000+ children I have had the opportunity to influence, the main insight I have gained is that a mental programming builds in children as rote learning takes a front seat.
Intelligence is defined, judged and driven as one’s performance in school subjects via grading systems.
For the last 10 years I have taught kids in both India & Canada. The common feedback I receive from kids is “why is this not a subject in the school curriculum?”.
Creativity is unlearned and That’s why it is so important to continue the process of free play, imagination and exposure to various creative activities and forms between the ages of 7 and 12 years.
In today’s school systems there is very little evidence of a link between intelligence and creativity. This is why kids who rate themselves high on intelligence, often rate themselves low on creativity and vice-versa.
The curriculum my colleague and I have been working on is a 5 year program for children between the ages of 7 and 12. It is a non-judgmental approach with the absence of a grading system (ridding fear of mistakes) where creativity is influenced through hands-on activities, multi-disciplinary interaction, collaboration and constructivism.
It is based on experiential learning that caters to the various senses and learning styles such as auditory, visual, kinesthetic, global, analytic and tactile to name a few.
Again, this is done in a non-judgmental environment where the children are able to build the self fulfilling prophecy of “I am creative, therefore I am”. This confidence will enhance their quality of life in the years of adulthood that follow.
If we were to win this challenge it would bring us a step closer to our goal of having a 2 year creativity curriculum, both online and offline ready to implement within a year.
Students: Maintain free play and imagination in a creative environment where they are influenced and challenged in various ways that cater to their learning styles while building strength on the others.
Educators: a non-judgmental approach to facilitating children that revolutionizes teacher training to drive creativity
Parents: Encourage their active involvement in their kids' development by participating in creative challenges
Policymakers: influence them to champion creativity in the development and implementation of the curriculum
Culture: Build learning environments where children are exposed to creative activities that cater to various learning styles in a non-evaluative based manner.
We need $400,000 in the first year to prepare a 2 year offline curriculum. It will be translated to an online curriculum in parallel using an LMS developer. A total of 4 content and curriculum writers (including 2 of us in the team currently) and guest experts in various creative fields to add their knowledge to developing specific areas of the content.
At the end of 1 year, we will require additional funding towards marketing and promotion. There are 2 avenues to explore here, the educational boards and policy makers of countries, states, provinces being one and the other being parents whose children would enroll as an after school program (from home) to enhance their skills.
We plan to get the funding through raising capital from angel funding and private equity.
Yes we have a team to get it up and running.
The members at current are:
Sumi Ragahavan : a special educator, early childhood and curriculum specialist, Cambridge speaking examiner and TESOL certified English language and learning needs consultant. She believes in differentiated learning styles and uses a blended form of teaching for her students who are across ages and nationalities
Vikram Aditya Swaminadhan: a multidisciplinary innovator and catalyst in propagating creativity and author of a monthly Creative Thinking column aimed at children. He has presented his methods at creativity conferences such as Crea Italy, Future Trends LA, Mindcamp TO. He has also facilitated sessions for companies (eg. Coke, Mars, P&G, Bose etc.) and run workshops for schools in both Canada & India.
Ian Gaither : a performance and learning strategist. He designs educational systems and has honed his craft over the last 20 years, developing solutions for everyone from astronauts to submariners. He designs systems that make learning happen, the systems that create those systems.
Roger Von Oech: is considered the modern father of creative thinking having earned his Ph.D. from Stanford University in the self-created interdisciplinary program "History of Ideas" in 1975. Creativity consultant, working with companies such as Apple, IBM, Disney, Sony, and Intel and author of A Whack on the Side of the Head: How You Can Be More Creative, A Kick in the Seat of the Pants & Expect the Unexpected, or You Won't Find It.
Phase 1 – Seed Funding
May 31, 2022 : Proposal (Pitch) Deck Ready
Aug 31, 2022: Obtain Seed Funding
Phase 2 – Curriculum Development
Sep 30, 2022: Framework for curriculum for 2 age groups 7-9 years, 10-13 years completed
Jan 31, 2023: 1 year offline curriculum (40 hours) for the 2 age groups complete
May 31, 2023: 2 year offline curriculum (80 hours) complete and 1 year online curriculum ready
Phase 3 – Implementation (Stage 1)
June 30, 2023: Offline curriculum (teachers module) implemented in Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE, India) for children aged 7-13
July 31, 2023: 2nd stage funding obtained, Marketing of online after school program commences
Aug 31, 2023: 2 year Online curriculum ready and translated into Spanish, Hindi/Urdu & French
Phase 4: Global Implementation Phase (Stage 2)
Sep 30, 2023: Creativity curriculum proposals to Europe, UK, Canada, US, Far East countries begin.
Sep 30, 2023: 3 year offline curriculum complete & 2 year online curriculum ready
Further Implementation Phases and Dates to be driven dynamically & proactively based on the successful rollout above.
Creativity is not gained but lost as we progress through the education system. By creating an environment and facilitation methodology that maintains and encourages creativity in a non-judgemental fashion, children from an early age, who already intrinsically believe in their creative abilities, will be able to maintain, discover and build on other areas.
This is what is unique about our project.
Much like math (addition, subtraction, multiplication), this curriculum will infuse over a period of time the building blocks of creativity; such that a new generation of young people evolve, who see the world differently and have the skills to affect positive change in a collaborative manner.
In 2013 we were approached by the Central Board of Secondary Education of India to develop a creativity curriculum inspired on our monthly creative thinking column in the Hindu newspaper. Their mandate however changed, as they had no means to measure the efficacy of such a program.
Our belief is that creativity should never be assessed, it should be left to the creator to assess their own self belief, confidence and growth. Hence we developed assessment criteria accordingly. For the world to accept a non-judgemental approach is all about timing and the timing is Now.
Initial implementation is in and across the whole of India.
Our physical location for development will be the city of Chennai, Tamilnadu, South India.
Yes we have the knowledge and technological means to make this project a reality.
We, Sumi Raghavan and myself (Vikram Aditya) have run creativity workshops for 3000+ children and have seen the immediate after effects of the influence it has had on children. Their feedback has been entirely positive. We believe if creativity is inculcated (maintained & developed) at an early age in schools, it will become ingrained as second nature within children by the age of 12 or so.
We will be employing the knowledge of experts in various fields of creativity to add to the curriculum during the process.
Technologically we are in contact with experts who can bring the offline version to life.
After initial implementation in June 2023, income will be generated from the various education boards that subscribe to the offline curriculum. The online version will generate a secondary revenue stream from children subscribing to the after school program. We foresee revenue generation after year 1 which will be able to maintain as well as grow the model globally
A part of this revenue will be used to provide teachers in remote villages training to facilitate under-priviledged children across the country, using a blended mix of both offline and online modules. This formula to be expanded to other developing countries as well.