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Repurposing Existing Structures

Mumbai's ubiquitous storm drains are transformed to educational platforms. How might we leverage existing structures to provide sites of learning?

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Employing Mumbai's ubiquitous storm drains, the Aseema Education Centre for Street and Unprivileged Children sought to provide access to learning tools and encourage the joys of learning.

What other existing structures can be leveraged to create sites of learning? What kinds of learning are suitable to self-driven curiosity?



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Really digging the string of thoughts between "community hacks" and child development going on here between Valeria, Shane and Meena. I love to imagine what the possibilities in learning, development and community experience would be for children if repurposed structures such as these developed further into physical "Dora the Explorer" (kid-friendly problem-solving) type of learning scenarios

Here's a little background If some may not be familiar with "Dora the Explorer:" it's an educational cartoon series, which each episode is based around a series of events that occur along the way during Dora's travels such as obstacles that she and Boots (her friend who accompanies her) are forced to overcome, or puzzles that they have to solve relating to riddles, learning Spanish, or counting. More info at

Taking from that, what I mean by "Dora the Explorer" (kid-friendly problem solving) scenarios are repurposed structures that create a journey (either as series of events or educational tools) for children in the community in which they overcome playful community obstacles, or puzzles to solve whether in the form of riddles, or learning vocabulary or exercising a cognitive/social skill. Maybe, they'd need to be scaled down to the capacities for those 0 to 5 years of age. But, for children of any age bracket, they could foster experiential play that is designed in a way to not only engage cognitive needs but also, inspire children's awareness and development around values and social empathy to the needs of their peers, surroundings and community

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Ending side thought: "Community hacks" for child development and bridging educational access (e.g., to tools) could intervene interesting solutions to the child development barriers low-income and hard to reach populations of children, parents and families face at refugee camps. The relevance, in my thought process, is that displacement presents unique child development barriers in these disempowered communities - e.g., cognitive impacts of war and violence, high anxiety atmospheres of refugee camps harbor what has been called as "stagnant" cultures deriving from hopelessness and uncertainty (e.g., no permanent residence, waiting to be able to go back home, etc,.)

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