The Kids Education Revolution is a bold and ambitious collective of schools and educational organizations that are working towards reimagining education at scale and are driven by a profound belief in the power of student leadership. It aims to influence the conversation of what constitutes an excellent education by listening to and learning from our children and youth to fulfill the individual potential of each child and the collective potential of our nation.

Teach For India,
2nd Floor, Godrej One, Pirojshah Nagar,
Vikhroli East, MUMBAI – 400079
support@kidseducationrevolution.org
KER Week brought together a diverse mix of students leaders and educators working in various ways to reimagine education. The week kicked off with a three-day Revolutionary Retreat, the platform for our Student Revolutionaries to connect to the self, to each other and to find their place in this movement to reimagine education. The National Summit that concluded our week was a culmination of another year of KER and of reimagining education in partnership with our students.
KER Week in Numbers!
72
Student Leaders
500 +
Educators
13
Innovative Organisations
1
Unique Experience
Revolutionary Retreat

To kick off KER Week 2019, 72 student leaders from across India and 4 other countries, came together to take part in the 3 day Revolutionary Retreat which took place on the outskirts of Mumbai, at RMP Bhayander. While the overarching theme for the retreat was ‘A Student Movement to Reimagine Education,’ each day had a more specific theme with sessions that explored the 3 KER Principles and 6Cs and aided the students towards finding their place in the larger movement. On Day 1, students reflected on their own journeys of change through the theme ‘Story of Self’. Day 2 saw the students explore the theme ‘Story of Us,’ where they went through a day-long Hackathon to try and problem solve together. On the final day of the retreat, the students went through sessions to try and expand their projects by 10x towards the theme ‘Story of Now’.

It was a great experience in the Retreat and the National Summit of KER. I loved the hackathon, dream session and the 10x one. I met many new people and learnt many things. Especially Mr. Nand Kumar I connected with him a lot and had a great discussion about education system of India. At KER week, I saw the idea of equal partnership between kids and educators come alive. KER gave me enough fuel to work endlessly and passionately on my projects.

Dhanashree - KER Revolutionary

The KER week was a really enriching and a fun experience. The way I was welcomed by everybody made me feel that I have been a part of the KER family for a long time. It helped me build awareness of the good work going around after listening to the inspiring work done from the other revolutionaries. It gave me a broader perspective and made me more open minded about a topic after listening to ideas from different places all over the world.

Siddharth - KER Revolutionary

I think this superhero journey at KER has changed me a lot. I still hope to become even better and take active leadership in most things I work on. I still want to push myself and be a better version of myself.

Arjun - KER Revolutionary

In KER, I learnt that by using love as an approach we can start any movement or solve any problem. My belief that “not every leader is a student but surely each and every student is a leader” which is with me since seventh grade grew stronger as I saw students at KER doing amazing and unbelievable work!

Isha - KER Revolutionary

My experience at KER week 2019 was just amazing! I learnt values like courage and compassion. It gave me the inspiration to bring a change in the society and make the transformation.

Danish - KER Revolutionary
National Summit

On 9th and 10th February 2019, our 72 student leaders hosted a conference for 500+ educators at the American School of Bombay. The sessions were centred around the theme ‘Inspire, Adopt, Advocate: Partnership for a Reimagined Education’ and participants were given the chance to choose between sessions conducted by educators and students from various organizations. These sessions ranged from creating safe spaces for expression and learning through the arts to sessions on co-creation with students and building 21st-century skills in the classroom. Towards the second half of the day, participants also had the chance to take part in a Partner Carnival where they experienced 15-minute mini-lessons from different partner organizations. This included lessons on building choice based learning with students as well as improving social-emotional learning amongst students. The diversity of the sessions showed how many individuals and organizations across the country are already reimagining education in their contexts and gave participants the chance to learn from them and walk away with sustainable learnings and resources to build a partnership with students in their classrooms and schools.

Museum of Grey Sunshine

Why are we trying to reimagine education?

What is the need to change the education system that has been around for so long?

To remind participants of the reality of the current education system in India, they were taken through a pop-up museum experience at the start of the National Summit. Through a lottery system, participants were given ‘admission’ into two different classrooms, and were given the chance to experience first-hand what students go through on a daily basis. In one of the classes, the room was bleak and dark and the teacher in charge was yelling instructions and punishing students, all while holding a formidable wooden stick in her hand. In the other class, however, the room looked colourful and inviting, and the teacher was encouraging and loving towards all the students in his class. Participants were also taken through other exhibits such as the ‘Enough Room,’ where they stood in a black room and listened to all the demeaning things kids have to listen to everyday. While looking in a mirror, participants were also faced with all the times they themselves had contributed to harming a child’s growth. It was with this disturbing and disorienting experience, that participants entered the National Summit, charged towards making a change.

My idea of revolution was challenged and I am taking that dissonance back to evaluate it in my work.

Pratiksha Mishra - Program Manager, Teach For India

Students should be given the ability to think and decide. That’s how they grow and that is evident here.

Kogila Ramakrishnan - School Improvement Specialist Coach, Teach For Malaysia

It was very satisfying to see kids be so confident!

Adarsh Mohandas - Educator, Teach For India

I learned so much at the KER National Summit! I am surprised that students my age have done so much for society.

Ameer Shaikh - Apni Shala, Student
What We Learned
Our week was rich with valuable learnings and takeaways for all our participants, students and educators alike. Here are some of the most poignant lessons that our participants took away from their experience!

KER week challenged and validated radical ideas.

1.    Love is central

At every moment during KER week, love was practised in action. Here are some examples:

Georgina, a ten-year-old student at a leading private school in NYC, shares in a large circle that she has a greater sense of community in one week here than she has in the past five years.

Bogdan, an 8th grade student from Russia, came to India for the first time – with close to no English language proficiency. As educators, we worried about his ability to connect and understand until we saw Jeremiah, a 6th-grade student from the U.S., whip out google translate and engage in a Russian/American-English conversation.

While as adults we are quick to give constructive feedback, our students shower love and encouragement on each other. However small the steps they take, we saw other students respond with such belief and positive praise.

Safe spaces matter

KER week brought together students and educators from across India and the world who didn’t know each other. In circles led by facilitators who led with vulnerability, our students opened up to each other and built trust and supportive relationships.

Kids can be our partners

From running registration, to co-facilitating all sessions, to pushing thinking in informal conversations, our students showed us that they aren’t just the recipients of education, but can be partners in their own learning and the learning of others

There is strength in community

Sessions were full of examples of how students and educators mobilize the community for change.

10-year-old Rehan lives in a low-income community surrounded by 7 mountains of garbage. His multi-faceted dream is not just to change his community, but communities around the world. He has a force of “Fellows”, adults and children in the community, that run projects responding to needs in the community.

Jai Mishra lives in the community he is trying to change. Working silently with his people, he is spreading love and peace through simple activities that bring people together to reconnect with their humanity.

All of us need to be zoomed out

KER’s Museum of Grey Sunshine was an experiential pop-up that depicted the truth of education. Sourced entirely from students and teachers, the museum exhibits reminded us of how much needs to be fixed, and the role that we play.

In adjoining classrooms, the audience experience worlds of difference in how we can learn.

In a hard-hitting room on how we treat our children, the audience was asked to reflect on the role we have played. From here, the audience entered a black, sound-only experience of the messages we inflict on children and the stress it causes.

In the central exhibit, the audience experienced real artefacts still used in school. Here you see an actual page from a textbook.

Like-minded organizations can be better together

From Slam Out Loud’s packed session on the power of expression, to Teach For India’s session on how kids can train teachers, the power of new and complimentary ideas made a reimagined education visible.

We can learn from our kids

In KER’s first-ever Student Learning Loop, a group of educators and students spent two days diving into the characteristics and enablers of student leadership. See our learning below.

Click here for the Learning Loop Report