This profile was prepared when Marian Chwastniewski was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2006.
The New Idea
Marian believes students learn best when they are having fun. Education should be an exciting endeavor for children—a never-ending process of exploration of their surroundings, their past, and themselves that will equip them for life. However, the current public education is too bureaucratic and rules-bound to foster children’s inborn creativity and natural curiosity. Marian is working to redefine the role of teacher from disciplinarian to supportive guide in discovering a pupil’s interests and potential. His new educational approach encourages creativity and open-mindedness as well as a focus on the student’s interests rather than those of state public education. This kind of engaging learning experience is most likely to capture students’ minds and educate in a lasting way.Marian’s strategy is simple and successful because it relies on a network of local and regional educational centers operating within school walls but as an independent organization. Teachers join this network to become trained how to educate in imaginative ways that transform the classroom environment and make learning engaging and long-term. His goal is to shed new light on how students learn best and introduce permanent changes in public schooling that will once again make school fun.