Stories Written by ChildrenTales written by children
The children's literature is made by children from all over the word.
One of the new children's books has an unforeseen author: a seventh-grader from the countryside of India who hadn't thought of himself as a story teller until the beginning of the year. Now part of a Kickstarter projects, the first in a new set of workshop sessions held in participating countries around the globe, the aim of which is to exchange votes that are normally not heard.
Sawyer Altman, a Stanford University alumnus who created the Rakonto programme, says: "The main purpose of the workshops is to teach the student the arts and the strength of story telling.... and how to use this strength in their world. Pupils will find out how the story telling was used by locals - in India, for example, Altman spoke about Gandhi - and how these tales can have an impact.
During the next phase of the workshops, participants will analyse a number of different histories to find out what makes some of them more relevant. This is very different from what would occur in a traditional Indian country and in many parts of the classroom where it often looks like 100 years ago - college kids who sit in ranks and sing facts in harmony or remember formulas.
India and elsewhere criticise this kind of schooling for not preparing pupils to be creative about the issues of the twenty-first-century, such as the effects of global warming and job losses through automisation. Kickstarter, by a seventh-grader called Vijay, tells of the increasing demand that grand-parents from houses where families have been living together for many years are "pushed out" and then land on the streets hopeless.
He has also given workshops in South Africa, Ghana, Mexico and most recently in Nepal. The Kickstarter advertising campaigns are designed to start a sustained company model: At the end of each of the workshops, a history of the students is illustrating and published as a workbook. When a subscriber buys this workbook, it encourages the posting of a moderator to hold the next session elsewhere.
Altman is hoping that the experiment will make the pupils think differently about the whole school. "At the end of the class, there will be a complete change," he says.