Keynote Speakers

Eric Mazur. Harvard University (USA)

Memorization or understanding: are we teaching the right thing?

Eric Mazur

Education is more than just transfer of information, yet that is what is mostly done in large introductory courses – instructors present material (even though this material might be readily available in printed form) and for students the main purpose of lectures is to take down as many notes as they can. Few students have the ability, motivation, and discipline to synthesize all the information delivered to them. Yet synthesis is perhaps the most important –and most elusive– aspect of education. I will show how shifting the focus in lectures from delivering information to synthesizing information greatly improves the learning that takes place in the classroom.

About Eric Mazur

Eric Mazur is the Balkanski Professor of Physics and Applied Physics at Harvard University and Dean of Applied Physics. He is a prominent physicist known for his contributions in nano photonics, an internationally recognized educational innovator, a sought-after lecturer, and successful entrepreneur. In education he is widely known for his work on Peer Instruction, an interactive teaching method aimed at engaging students in the classroom and beyond. Mazur has received many awards for his work in physics and in education and has founded several successful companies. Mazur is Chief Academic Advisor for Turning Technologies, a company developing interactive response systems for the education market. Dr. Mazur is author or co-author of 258 scientific publications and 23 patents. He has also written extensively on education and is the author of Peer Instruction: A User's Manual (Prentice Hall, 1997), a book that explains how to teach large lecture classes interactively. In 2006 he helped produce the award-winning DVD Interactive Teaching.

Kiran Bir Sethi. The Riverside School in Ahmedabad (India)

Kiran Bir Sethi

Not by Chance, But by Design!

India in particular and the world in general suffers from utilizing very little of human potential.  The speaker, the Founder of Design for Change, believes we suffer from the "Do I have to?" syndrome.  She will share with the audience what happens when learning environments are infected by the "I CAN" bug and how design thinking has been used to create empowered individuals who can be agents of change.

Design thinking is a human-centered, collaborative and optimistic mindset. It asserts that new and better things are possible and that each of us can make change happen.  And this optimism is what is needed in education today.  Change for good does not happen by chance; it is the result of a process that can be consciously nurtured and energized.

About Kiran Bir Sethi

Kiran Bir Sethi is the Founder/Director of The Riverside School in Ahmedabad, India. She is also the founder of ‘aProCh’ - an initiative to make our cities more child friendly, for which she was awarded the Ashoka Fellow in 2008. In 2009, she was presented with the ‘Call to Conscience’ Award from the King Centre at Stanford, for the citizenship/liberation curriculum that Riverside School implements. In 2009, she founded 'Design for Change' (DFC) - the world’s largest movement of change – of and by children. DFC is in over 30 countries – impacting 25 million children. In September, 2011, she won the prestigious “INDEX – Design to Improve Life Award”. In June, 2012, she was awarded the “Rockefeller Foundation Youth Innovation Award”. In February, 2014, she has been awarded the “Patricia Blunt Koldyke Fellowship 2013”, by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.