Why we teach our children to be audacious thinkers? Because a look at human history reveals how it has always been the outrageously audacious thinking that made all the difference.
Gandhi, who believed he could topple, defeat the most powerful empire with the power of persuasion and love! They overpowered the Mighty British forcing them to retreat with just what? Words and the power of non-violent resistence.
Look at the audacity of thought and determination and faith in the idea, a legacy that the whole world recognized as valuable and worth preserving.
What about that first explorer that defied resistance of conventional knowledge, audaciously set off to find the Indies, discovered the shores of the America?
Or that man who decided to wipe off six million people just because he thought he was right? The population of the neighbouring country Bhutan is about a million…so effectively, this man kills the Bhutanese population six times over, so to speak… offsetting massive, lasting changes in the political, social, economic history of the world as we know today.
Then this man that had been telling everyone that would listen how plants breathe, have life of their won – and how people laughed from the inside of their jail-celled existence. Bose.
And this other one told the world, “O but it is all relative, depends on where you stand”, sweeping whole philosophies onto a different course altogether. Einstein.
The Bard of England showed the world what it meant to have grammar serve hands and foot at your service, turning every idea of right or wrong about language use on its head. It is a tool, for God’s sake, make it serve art and stop being a slave to Rules, Shakespeare seemed to say with his writings.
We realize that Robinson Crusoe and numerous others that may be called survivors in the true sense, all learned to live audaciously, thinking in ways that nobody dared, is why they lived in the end.
Creative thinking is at the root of all successful problem solving strategies.
Every single idea that rocked the world, whether in good or bad ways, was audacious, outrageous aspirations of the human capacity to think beyond – imaginatively reach out over the lines and boundaries of convention, established norms.
It makes good sense to rewrite curriculum after all that India has experienced in the past two decades and change teaching learning focus. I am glad we are doing it finally. We are awake and responding to changes in the world around us.
This post is a celebration of the difficult and exciting journey we have embarked upon.
Hope we do the best by our children, that they are less helpless, more empowered, by the time they step into the world of adults.
Post Script: On the eve of launching into the Give India Design Thinking Contest, the children were at a circle time closing loop with their campaign plan. Ideas of Giving flew back and forth. Suddenly, Simran, spit out, “O but giving this and giving that and what we do not use is so cliched, why can’t we think beyond? Giving can be other ways too, if we do something like teaching or…Let us think of an audacious idea of giving!”
Coming from a Grade 9 child… it is working already!