December 4, 2015
(Photo credits: Center for Inspired Teaching)
On November 28, Aleta Margolis, Inspired Teaching’s Executive Director, addressed a convening of school directors, educators, young people, civil society leaders, and philanthropists at the Changemaker Education Summit in Istanbul, Turkey. Aleta, an Ashoka Fellow, was invited to speak and lead a workshop for this audience of changemakers to teach them tools they can use to shift the mindsets of their fellow teachers, school leaders, and policymakers about what the school experience should be for students.
In her talk, Aleta highlighted the disconnect between the schooling common throughout Turkey and other countries – characterized by rote learning and driven by tests – and the complex, unpredictable world in which students must succeed outside of school. She argued that for children to thrive, now and in the future, teachers must change their role from deliverers of information to Instigators of Thought.
In Aleta’s workshop with educators from across Turkey, participants explored this change in mindset and practice through activities that engaged them intellectually, emotionally, and physically and required them to step out of their comfort zones. Aleta challenged each participant to consider a lesson he or she had recently taught and to re-imagine it, infusing it with creativity and inquiry. Teachers left both energized and equipped with tools and strategies to implement in their classrooms. Aleta and other leaders at the Summit emphasized the need to empower teachers and students to change the education system from the ground up.
The summit was hosted by Ashoka Turkey as part of its efforts to transform the educational system so that every student is “fully equipped and inclined to change their world for the better – to thrive and help others thrive in the modern world.” Other speakers included noted social entrepreneur and founder of Apopo, Bart Weetjens; Global Teacher Prize winner and author of Flip the System, Jelmer Evers; and Ross Hall, the director of Ashoka’s work with young people across Europe. Children also played a prominent role at the conference: 6 year-old Demir gave a speech about his hopes for education; 8 year-old Ali designed the logo; and students from Changemaker Schools produced all the signs and banners displayed at the conference.
Watch Aleta’s talk: