Vishal Sharma
Ambassador, Advisory

Vishal Sharma

Ahmedabad, India

Founder, SMILES in Life Foundation- a not for profit global Initiative for integrating holistic wellbeing in everyday life. Also a certified Yoga and Mindfulness trainer and positive psychology practitioner.

Hello! My name is Vishal Sharma. I am an Engineer turned Educationist. I am a Master Teacher Trainer for holistic wellbeing integrated pedagogy in under-previleged schools based in Ahmedabad, India. I completed a two year fellowship of full time teaching with Teach For India from 2016-18. I am also a regular Yoga and Mindfulness practitioner and certified trainer for both.

After having spent 14 years of my career in Engineering (10 of them with US chipmaker Intel Corp in California), I decided to switch gears and follow my heart. I relocated from USA to India in order to explore easy & stress-free ways of teaching and learning.  I also visited & studied the teaching methodologies and conducted academic audits in various schools across India in order to gauge the actual issues on the field.

The first model of Stress free teaching called Stress-Free Awakened Learning (SFAL) model emerged out of these experiences which became the foundation for my current teachers training program called "SMILES in Education". In SMILES program, I have integrated easy yet powerful Mindfulness & Yoga techniques into Pedagogy and classroom management.   

I love to read books, travel to new places, meet new people and learn their culture.

Why do you want to be a part of the HundrED Community?

HundrED is a global initiative to bring together people, ideas and resources for making a transformational change in the way education is being imparted today.

I strongly believe that sharing our ideas and trying out others ideas is a great way to make significant and desired changes to our education system.

Together we all can make a big difference. We have one purpose but many diverse perspectives, skills and ideas for achieving it. HundrED has done an excellent job of bringing us together from different corners of the world.

Therefore I am extremely enthused to be a part of this global movement called HundrED which will enable our future generations with newer and innovative ways of learning.

How can education support students to flourish?

To me, “Education” itself means learning how to flourish in whatever place, situation or circumstances we are living in. It should empower us with not just the right knowledge but also the wisdom to make the right choices at the right time.

Education should take care of our physical, mental and emotional well-being also. Students will flourish if their education is directly linked to the real life experiences of the learners & teaches them how to live and let others live a better and meaningful life

In such an education system, students are given maximum opportunities to explore and experiment with knowledge and skills that they need to learn. This is done through activity based, experiential and collaborative learning. Such an education is an inquiry based learning with full participation and ownership of the students while the teacher is acting as a facilitator to make them experience it.

What role does innovation play in education change?

Normal is boring!! Innovation brings the spark, freshness and creativity into the normal. Even the best practices will lead to reduced outcomes overtime if it does not have room for change and creativity.

So I believe innovation plays a key role to make education practices interesting, efficient and relevant. A successful teacher would know how to create new and different ways to deliver the same knowledge to the students based on their context and needs. This happens when the teacher is intrinsically motivated to teach and makes teaching his passion.

Three HundrED innovations you love. (and Why?)

1.    Self Organized Learning Environments (SOLEs), UK
Why: It enable students to explore in a collaborative environment with full ownership.

2.    Design for Change, India:
Why: It is unique way to let students feel, imagine and find solutions of the problems they face in their community.

3.    Positive Education, Australia:
Why: It promotes student and staff well-being using positive thinking and psychology and embedding it into their daily practices.