Abhijit Sinha - Founder of Project DEFY


When I first spoke with Rachel (ThoughtBox Founder) and learned about ThoughtBox, it was clear just how similar our views were on education (and its current flaws) and how much overlap there was in our understanding of what needs to change. Both ThoughtBox and Project DEFY are working to support a learner-centred approach to education, empowering the individual to explore and enhance their own creative abilities and are very much in support of each other’s ventures. 

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"We believe that people have the capacity to understand what they want to learn, and generally they understand it better than anyone else. And this is such a variable quantity that in most classrooms we find that almost every student wants different things from education or life – then how could we have one system of learning or generic education? How could we make 40-60 children sit in the same room and teach them the same things in the same manner? The answer is we can’t”

Individuals form their own interests and their own methods of learning and no matter how much one is force-fed learning will not happen unless these personal criteria are fulfilled.

Nooks are spaces where individuals can completely customise what they learn, when they learn and also how they learn. At Nooks, ideas are shared. All information consumed and developed by the community is open-sourced. This exchange brings all people onto the same stage. Everyone is able to learn and contribute, and therefore the concept of ‘teacher’ (who is supposed to only teach) is redundant, and consequently that of ‘student’ (who is supposed to only learn). Each participant has a role in being both student and teacher.

Internet is introduced as a reference book, full of creative open-source ideas and projects that the participants take up, based on their interest and motivation. Every piece of learning happens through building projects. These projects can be artistic, technical, social, etc. and each participant customizes his/her own learning experience. 

This process helps people to understand their own interests and needs. They learn how to manage ‘confusion’ and work hard to find their passion. This teaches them to make decisions based on interests and principals, and not out of mob behaviour"