Karima Grant

Ashoka Fellow
Senegal
Fellow Since 2015

Citation

This profile was prepared when Karima Grant was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2015.
The New Idea
For Karima Grant, current attempts aim at modifying aspects of a system whose stakeholders are tied to paradigms that cannot support nor promote innovative thinking. Education for sustainable development must integrate understandings of how children learn best and what kinds of learners we want to nurture. Through Imagination Africa organization, Karima is proposing an alternative institution transforming the way children perceive themselves and their ability to contribute to development.

Through creative and educational programs, she is creating learning spaces where children experience themselves as active learners and producers of new, valuable knowledge through play. She is using hands-on play and experiential learning, to shift the paradigm children experience learning through and our/their assumptions of what children know and can do. Children hypothesize experiment, fail, innovate, practice, pretend, suspend common belief, creatively produce, critically think and imagine. The goal of ImagineNation Afrika is to enhance fun educational programs to facilitate the integration of knowledge, develop skills-training education and behavior change at the local, national and international.

Karima and her team are developing initiatives that inspire teacher to be innovative and to make materials for reinforcing mathematical thinking. They design: theory lab spaces emphasizing and wholly reliant on children’s creativity, voice and participation; cultural centers with exhibition and play spaces designed and built for children to interrogate the world around them; dedicated classroom and schoolyard play spaces that gently recall and reinforce academic programming; classroom/school programming that develops practical skills like research and evaluation, communication and media production. Karima programs are inclusive and address the specific needs of children with mental health or disabilities problems.
The goal of is to popularize edutainment program to facilitate the integration of knowledge, develop skills-training education and behavior change at the local, national and international. The organization provides programs that complement and work in conjunction with the national curriculum. To date, 8000 children have played in Karima play-spaces and programs.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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