K. P. Mohanan, a co-founder of ThinQ, did his PhD in Linguistics from MIT, and has taught at the University of Texas at Austin; MIT; Stanford University; and at the National University of Singapore (NUS). He has made significant contributions to linguistic theory; he co-designed with Tara Mohanan an Inquiry-Oriented undergraduate program in Linguistics at NUS; and has worked extensively with the nature of academic knowledge and inquiry, against the backdrop of human beliefs. He joined the IISER-Pune Faculty in 2011, where he continued his work till he retired at the end of 2016.
Tara Mohanan, a co-founder of ThinQ, is well respected internationally for her work on theoretical issues in semantics, syntax, morphology, and phonology, based largely but not exclusively on phenomena in Hindi and Malayalam. She did her PhD in Linguistics at Stanford University. At NUS, where she taught for 16 years, she co-designed with K P Mohanan an Inquiry-Oriented undergraduate program in Linguistics. She has a rare range in educational experience that spans experimenting with Inquiry-Oriented activities in 2nd Grade to advising PhD scholars writing a doctoral dissertation
Madhav, a co-founder of ThinQ, got his PhD in Mathematics, with a focus on Mathematics Education, at The University of Arizona in 2021. His focus for his PhD was on students constructing mathematical theories, and his thesis was titled 'Theory Building in Geometry Education.' He received his Masters in Mathematics in 2019 from The University of Arizona. His Master's thesis was titled 'Assumption Digging in Euclidean Geometry.' Before starting on his PhD, Madhav consulted for UNESCO-MGIEP on developing a course on Global Citizenship. Before that, he worked with Learn Today, the educational arm of India Today, developing curriculum and managing their online product development team. His first job after graduating from Oberlin College in 2011 was founding a startup, SmarterGrades, an online, adaptive numeracy learning portal. He is currently writing on mathematical thinking at madhavkaushish.substack.com.
B. Tech. (IIT Madras), M. A. (Delhi School of Economics)
Vaideeswaran (Deesh) consults in the field of environment, climate change, and sustainable solutions. He has an established consulting practice, in both the development and business sectors, and works both within India and in other developing countries. He has been a core consultant with the World Bank for more than 20 years. Further to that, he has a keen interest and is passionate about engaging in the betterment of school / college education. He has contributed as a resource person in high school education for 12 years.
PhD, Computational Molecular Biophysics, National University of Singapore, Singapore
Vigneshwar Ramakrishnan is an Assistant Professor at SASTRA University, Thanjavur, teaching Bioinformatics. His research work focuses on investigating the mechanisms of protein-DNA interactions. With an interest in inculcating scientific thinking in young minds, he founded the "Science Arattai", an informal forum for science discussion, for undergraduate students at SASTRA, where alongside the knowldege component, he takes every available opportunity to build inquiry abilities into the curriculum.
Sriram Naganathan has been closely associated as a resource person with IgnusERG, a group of professionals working to improve the quality of education for marginalized children across India at elementary and secondary levels. When he finds time, he also teaches History at The School-KFI, Chennai. Sriram trained in Business Journalism at the Times Research Foundation in Delhi and was a Reuter Fellow at the University of Oxford, UK. He held editorial positions in publications such as Business India and Business World, and wrote for publications such as Asian Venture Capital Journal and Oxford Analytica before moving to the field of education full-time. Sriram also advises Venture Intelligence, which tracks deals in the private equity and venture capital ecosystem in India.
Ramesh has a range of experience from working in various fields - starting with troubleshooting electronic devices as a hobby from his school days, training and tech support in computer hardware and networking, facilitating personal development programs in Landmark Education (based on Werner Erhart's work), being a volunteer and trainer for a suicide prevention helpline, and doing photography and videography for social causes. He currently runs a school in Chennai, where he is initiating meaningful changes. He believes in using his life for causes that can make a difference to the world. He saw ThinQ as a good solution to ailing school academia, that bothered him all his life, and thus volunteers his time with ThinQ.
Master’s in Elementary Education (TISS, Mumbai)
Aditi discovered her interest in thinking about education during a sociology lecture in her undergraduate degree. Since then, she has been volunteering and interning with various organisations that work in education and began working with ThinQ in July, 2018. Here, she learnt ways to tap into her intellectual interests and pursue them wholeheartedly. She is also trained in Bharatnatyam and enjoys reading about philosophy.
MSc Biotechnology, University of Pune
Rashmi works as a curriculum and program developer at Agastya International Foundation, an NGO working in the space of hands-on science education for underprivileged children in rural India. After many years of research in Neuroscience at NCBS, Bangalore, Rashmi got very interested in school education and the neuroscience of how we learn. Rashmi believes that ThinQ was a transformative experience for her as it helped her overcome fear and insecurity associated with open exploration and begin to see it as an exciting journey. She is committed to developing an inquiry-oriented high school curriculum for Biology as well as pursuing research on how knowledge is created in the brain.
Sayali Tamane, after completing her Bachelors in Engineering, entered the developmental sector. She went on to complete her Masters in Educational Technology from the University of British Columbia and has been involved in the design and development of the 'Avirat' online training program for secondary school teachers across Maharashtra. She has worked as a member of the Board of Studies for creating the textbooks for 'Self Development and Art Appreciation' for grades 9th and 10th for the Maharashtra State Board. She has been working on educating students from underprivileged background for several years. She currently works as a consultant in education and educational technology for different non-governmental organizations.
Rahee has been working in the field of education at the undergraduate and higher secondary level for over two decades. Teaching Language, Literature and Humanities has allowed her to engage with constructs, question binaries and facilitate students to think through how and why they learn. She hopes to contribute to a classroom environment that encourages the learners to use, explore and develop their metacognitive skills and have no fear of failure. She feels that ThinQ's IIE course has been instrumental in making her a conscious learner, especially while teaching. She enjoys writing and translating poetry and working with theatre.
B.Tech, TKM College of Engineering, University of Kerala
Yadu manages collaborations and contributes towards content development at Agastya International Foundation, a non-profit which aims to spark curiosity, nurture creativity and instil confidence among government school students. After completing his Engineering, Yadu worked as an IT professional for 8 years before breaking away to explore development sector and education. He believes that ThinQ's inquiry oriented learning is a liberating experience, allowing him to enjoy exploring different paths. Yadu hopes to contribute towards developing and disseminating ThinQ's views.
MSc, IIT Madras
Jayasree Subramanian has taught in schools and colleges. Associated with Educational Initiatives, she has worked on the development of diagnostic assessments, teacher assessments, learning modules for an adaptive learning tool, and evaluation of educational programmes in the government school space. She has been working with ThinQ for several years, and is currently pursuing a PhD in Math Education at the Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education.
Class 10 Student, Rishi Valley School
Sanan has studied in KFI schools all through his school life. His academic interests are in mathematics and natural sciences, particularly physics. In sports, he started with playing squash, got interested in athletic events and now is active in basketball. At this point, it looks like basketball will be his sport. Having played the piano for a few years, he is now busy debating whether he should pursue it further. He was a participant in ThinQ’s IIE2019, which has contributed appreciably to his methods of learning.
MA (English), Pune University; Post-Grad. Diploma (Communication Media for Children), SNDT University; School Psychology, Jnana Prabhodhini, Pune
Committed to the cause of education, Malati Kalmadi worked as a teacher for three years before becoming Trustee at Kannada Sangha, Pune, which runs the Kaveri Group of Institutes (KGI). She continues as a Trustee today, playing a significant role in keeping KGI motivated in accepting change and being creative, and building a culture of trust. She has been the guiding force in bringing to KGI a vision of learner-centeredness and a safe environment, as well as in initiating programs that offer students a wide spread of arenas for overall development. Malati is also an Ex-Senate member of Pune University; Director at Anjali Morris Foundation that works with children with Learning Disabilities; Trustee of the University Women's Association, Pune, which works for the welfare of women and the girl child; Life Member of INTACH, a national body for Culture and Heritage; and a Member of 'Connecting,' an NGO that works for the Prevention of Suicide among Youth.
Shamli is a self-designed learner who has done her education outside the school system throughout her life. She lives in Palampur, Himachal. Her interests are in mathematics, physics, biology, art, writing and more. She also likes to look at things under a microscope, bake bread and cakes, used to play the tabla, and attempted the flute. She has worked with schools in primary classes as a math facilitator for about two years, where she also designed the curriculum to develop thinking classrooms. For her mathematical game design for education project, she was selected as an Ashoka Youth Venturer in 2019 . She was part of ThinQ's IIE-2019 cohort.
Jeevan Mendonsa, a Jesuit priest, is currently doing a PhD in philosophy at the Gregorian University, Rome. In his dissertation, he will explore the compatibility between the moral philosophy of Alasdair MacIntyre and Darwinian ethics. He worked for six and a half years in Nandurbar district of Maharashtra in the field of elementary education; the work included training bare-foot teachers in innovative and child-friendly teaching methods. He also actively promoted children's literature in tribal villages and made the library a more child-friendly space, given the constraints of rural infrastructure. Firmly convinced about the significance of critical thinking and reasoning in education, he endeavours to promote these abilities wherever possible.
Anjali discovered her love for languages during her undergrad, leading her to pursue a Masters in Linguistics. She worked on documenting the grammar of Gaddi, a minority language spoken in Himachal Pradesh, India, published here. She was also involved in the surveying and data mining of a linguistic census in her university during her Masters. She is currently pursuing her PhD in JNU, New Delhi, on the nature of roots in Malayalam grammar. Apart from Linguistics, she is interested in engaging with THINQ to learn the epistemological and pedagogical foundations of theory construction in science education.
B.Com (Andhra University), PGDM - Post Graduate Diploma in Management (Indian Institute of Management - Indore, 2003)
Shireen works with KinderPass (in the area of early childhood development - helping build digital and physical products for young families across the world) and White Cloud Brands (in seeking to make strategic marketing consulting available to small and medium businesses in India). She has nearly 17 years of experience in sales and marketing and more recently, entrepreneurship. A chance encounter with ThinQ on social media (who would’ve thought something this good could come out of whiling time on Facebook!) led her to IIE and has helped her fall in love with learning, all over again. She is committed to trying that the innate curiosity her child, and children everywhere, possess, stays unbridled in the quest for knowledge through formal education.
B.E.(Elect), COE Pune, Diploma in Advanced Computing, CDAC
Anjali Chipalkatti has worked on design and development of key indigenous solutions for Indian Defense. She has led IT portfolios for various multinational corporates as program manager with complete ownership of onsite and offshore operations.She is a founder member of Avakash Nirmitee, a group that engages in making documentary films on socially relevant subjects including education, and has been working as a science educator.
MA, M.Phil (History), JNU, Delhi
Vagish Jha has worked with alternative school education, educational programming and marketing, audio-video media, digitizing archives of valuable documents and audio-visual resources, radio programming, and social communication and community development. He was an Education Development Specialist with Learn Today, the educational wing of the India Today Group, until he took over in 2017 as Assistant Vice President, Academic Lead, IL&FS Education.
Aarthi Lourdes worked as an IT professional for 11 years before taking a break to catch up with life. Life happened during the break as she did ThinQ’s IIE course and fell for it hook, line, and sinker. Around the same time, she also did her teacher training from The School - KFI to get an understanding of an alternative approach to educating children. Now she’s happy working with ThinQ, and ThinQfecting everyone around her with the ThinQ-bug.
Kuany is a Project Officer, Education, UNESCO Iraq Office. A global nomad from South Sudan, he completed his high school education in Kenya while a refugee. He is self-educated in global geopolitics, philosophy and trained in the Paul-Elder Framework for Critical Thinking, and most importantly, ThinQ’s Inquiry-Orientated Education — which he describes as the most dispassionate and rigorous method for any seeker of the truth.
Before his posting in Iraq, Kuany was at UNESCO MGIEP in Delhi, where he was involved in a number of projects for the youth. His book, The Enlightened Darkness is an intimate meditation on the causes and consequences of the Sudanese Civil War. He is currently working on his second book, ACHOL, on the customs and traditions of South Sudanese tribes. He hopes to use the proceeds from the books to support orphans’ education in South Sudan.
Kuany derives his motivation from a high school teacher who once told him that he will ‘’never amount to anything in life.’’ He rejoices in the GOOD things of the mind — good books, good coffee, good music, soccer, and enriching conversations, and solitude.
Rayn is an undergraduate student at Reed College, with a BA expected in physics. He was 'unschooled' most of his life--he did not attend school, took no formal classes, and did no exams until he decided to pursue academics at the age of eighteen. With a keen interest in research and education, he has contributed to multiple projects at ThinQ as co-teacher for courses on Inquiry and Integration at the Kaveri Group of Schools and for a course on Global Citizenship developed for UNESCO-MGIEP.
After graduating in mathematics, Nilabh ran a democratic community school in rural Bihar. Later, he did masters in Women's Studies from TISS.He also went to Alpen-Adria University for course in Human Ecology, Environmental Science, and Sociology as an exchange student and interned at Teach For Austria, and ILB, Vienna. On returning to India, he joined Eklavya to work in school education in tribal area of Chhindwara, MP. He has a deep interest in Democratic Schooling, Language, Mathematics, Science, Inquiry Oriented Learning, Education, and developing teaching-learning material for young learners.
Chintan is currently learning how to cook and do other household chores. He has a Bachelor's in Commerce and and a Master's in Economics, and will not pursue a career in either subjects. He likes to take up short stints for work and enjoys diverse experiences.
Chintan was a part of IIE-2020. His favourite book is "Anyone Can Cook" by Auguste Gusteau.
Velavan was a member of the ThinQ IIE 2016 cohort and thinks that the course marked the beginning of the second innings of his life as a learner. He is the co-founder of Qrius Learning Initiatives, an organization that mentors teachers and designs academic programs on literacy and numeracy. Velavan facilitates inquiry and critical thinking sessions for secondary school students at The Aalam, a Montessori school in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu.