Who are Maverick Teachers

We define a Maverick Teacher who applies a balance of creativity, empathy and science to the art of teaching to support students and their learning. They think carefully about the students being taught, and the learning intended before designing teaching-learning strategies. They do not deter from reworking, re-organizing or re-arranging subject matter to make it more accessible and meaningful to students. A Maverick Teacher is someone who delights in the success of their students, and encourages student agency in assessment for learning, and student’s independence as a learner. Other behaviors and values could be...

  • They are proactive and resourceful; they demonstrate respect and care for students.
  • They are persistent and are ready to take risks in any given situation.
  • The best teachers are often able to use personal connections they establish with students to demand more from them academically.
  • They do not deter from reworking, re-organizing or re-arranging subject matter to make it more accessible and meaningful to students.
  • They totally understand that every learner is an individual learner, which is the utmost important point in making a learner learn to their optimal level.
  • They respect the context of the learner and teach accordingly, letting the learner chart out an individual path of learning.

Some guiding lights

Jack Smith

Maria Montessori

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1. Maria Montessori

Maria Montessori a Swiss educationist who revolutionized education by proving to the world that once children are given ‘free choice of activities they showed more interest in learning.’ Her findings in close to 3 decades transformed the way early childhood education functions in the world. She was a greatly influential figure, a Maverick teacher and a pioneer in early childhood education.


2. Lev Vygotsky

Vygotsky’s theory stresses the fundamental role of social interaction in the development of cognition. Vygotsky was a revolutionist who took Piaget’s work a few steps further as he believed strongly that community plays a central role in the process of "making meaning." He was a Maverick as he was not trained in Science but was a lawyer; however his own interest in child psychology led him to unearth great things about developmental psychology.

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Lev Vygotsky

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Bunker Roy

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3. Bunker Roy

He broke all the social and cultural rules and worked for Indian urban poor and started educating the urban poor to solve their issues of the basic needs.Anjit “Bunker” Roy is an Indian social activist and an educator. He was selected as one of Time 100‘s 100 most influential personalities in 2010 for his work in educating illiterate and semi-literate rural Indians. He founded Barefoot College in Rajasthan, India, an extraordinary school that teaches rural women and men who are illiterate to become solar engineers, artisans, dentists and doctors in their own villages.


4. Rabindranath Tagore

Rabindranath Tagore was Asia’s first Nobel Laureate. He was one of kind earliest educators to think in terms of the global village. His educational model has a unique sensitivity and aptness for education within multi-racial, multi-lingual and multi-cultural situations, amidst conditions of acknowledged economic discrepancy and political imbalance. He was one of the key thinkers who influenced Indian educational models.

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Rabindranath Tagore

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Gijubhai Badheka

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5. Gijubhai Badheka

GijubhaiBadheka was an extremely strong antagonist of the education system of his times. He strongly opposed the attitude of treating education as a product for producing laborers for industrial work force. He created a school system where children were free to learn, enjoy and like what they learn He implemented the concept of joyful learning and succeeded with this focused perseverance. His work Divaswapna(Day Dreams) influenced many education thinkers and reformers.


6. Friedrich Froebel

Does childhood exist? “Play is the highest expression of human development in childhood, for it alone is the free expression of what is in a child's soul.” Before Friedrich Froebel no one bothered to consider children CHILDREN. In Germany, the children were considered adults and were used for child labor to work in factories by the age of 7.Their childhood was getting robbed of innocence in the industrial revolution era. He was the one who invented the concept of kindergarten so that children learn meaningfully and enjoy their childhood as well. He was the pioneer who laid the foundation for modern education based on the recognition that children have unique needs and capabilities. So it was a Maverick idea indeed when he launched the first kindergarten.

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Friedrich Froebel

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John Dewy

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7. John Dewy

John Dewey was a revolutionary and a pragmatist (A view which is unlike the earlier models of teaching of Dewey’s times, which relied only on authoritarianism and rote learning), as his ideas rejected the dualistic epistemology and metaphysics of modern philosophy of education in favor of a naturalistic approach that viewed knowledge as arising from an active adaptation of the human to its environment. His social activism and writings fueled educational, philosophical and social reform. His concept of education puts premium on meaningful activity in learning and participation in classroom. Progressive education asserted that students must be invested in what they are learning. His work has paved the way for the changes that we see in the education changes of our times.


8. Paulo Freire

Paulo Freire a Brazilian who was a leading advocator of critical pedagogy, his work ‘Pedagogy of the oppressed’ revolutionized the world of education. He understood the deep impact of socioeconomics on education. His work is considered the Bible of critical pedagogy movement. He was able to prove that education is never neutral; it is used to create conformity and discipline, in the people. He was a Maverick who started the storm towards moving education to critical pedagogy so that it enables men and women to deal critically with reality.

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Paulo Freire

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Sri Aurobindo

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9. Sri Aurobindo

Sri Aurobindo was a great Maverick as he was educated entirely occidental education without any contact with the culture of India and the East, and he worked 13 years for Baroda Service where he enculturated himself, self-taught himself Sanskrit, and the spirit of Indian civilization by himself. He became a powerfulthought leader who believed and propagated the view by writing great books and establishing schools. His view was that it is extremely important to look for knowledge within. He established schools where children were taught with love, and about how entire humanity is united.


10. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

“Literacy in itself is no education”.Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi also known as Mahatma Gandhi, critiqued the way modern education was. He had strong views about education in a foreign language. He was a Maverick as he said that education has to be holistic, no education can ignore the physical and moral development. Gandhi opined that education should ultimately lead to spiritual path leading to enlightened souls. Gandhi distinctly divided between learning and education, knowledge and wisdom, literacy and lessons of life.

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Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

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