A. How did you find this company? What are the main facts about its activities?
First of all, I used to be involved in some of their projects and work in this group and I found it interesting to argue about this organization in this site since this organization is aiming the social development of Iran through a new system of education. The social development and economic flourishing of a society depends on its capability of planning and the level of success in implementing those plans. Since today’s children will be tomorrow’s planners and decision makers, it is our duty to educate a capable young generation in whose hands lay the prosperity of our future society.
To accomplish this mission, a community of highly motivated volunteers established the “Asemaan Group” to conceptualize and institute new methods to provide Iranian children with some of the most decisive but unfortunately un-emphasized skills such as systems thinking, team work and life skills, through edutainment.
Following a nine-year history, “Asemaan”, presently a research center in Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, Iran, is involved in the project of “bringing systems thinking to Iranian schools through games and stories”. Currently, numerous volunteers including university students/alumni, school teachers, university professors and a number of professional organizations help Asemaan in developing the educational games and stories. After several revisions and corrections, ‘the systems thinking educational package’ has been implemented in a number of schools in Tehran and it will be offered to all interested schools in Iran by the year 2012.
‘Asemaan Group’ belongs to all those who aspire to support the educational systems as a way of facilitating social development. We would highly appreciate your supports and among others, your suggestions, ideas, and criticisms in order to improve our system.
B. What are the Ethical challenges this company is addressing?
The Main ethical aim of this organization is social development of Iran through a new method of education especially focusing on system thinking skills of children. The social development of a society depends on the quality of decision making and the performance of different groups/organizations of that society; thus, certain individual skills, which improve the efficiency and effectiveness of groups/organizations, are facilitators of the social development. Therefore, in order to provide future decision-makers and managers with essential individual skills (such as systems thinking, life skills, and team work), Asemaan Group was founded to accomplish the mission of:
“Providing Iranian children with some of the most decisive but unfortunately less-emphasized skills through edutainment in order to improve the contents of Iranian educational systems”
Asemaan Core Values
According to all members’ consensus, Asemaan Group has had four pillars of core values since it was established; this four-pillar statement should be considered in developing and implementing all plans, programs and outcomes:
• This organization has always been -and will be- completely independent.
• All these efforts and activities are voluntary and absolutely non-profit.
• All Asemaan services/products aim to address vital educational needs and all related
fields of study should be entirely led by the best experts of each discipline.
• Any kind of feedback and critique is absolutely welcome in Asemaan Group; there is a
culture of feedback among all members and between Asemaan and its audience.
• All Asemaan members respect organizational disciplines and –at the same time-
• There will be no national promotion until the time that three perfect outcomes will
C. What makes this company really inspiring to you and why would you trust it?
I joined Aseman Group in Spring 2009. First of all, During the first six years, it was inspiring to me that they were focusing on practical research studies in different fields related to education which I really liked so much. Additionally, we were performing some limited-scope projects in order to find proper methods of education and important topics to address.
At the first look, this organization was a group of only 10-to-15 motivated members, mostly MBA graduate students which made an amazing friendly atmosphere to work. additionally, there were some other factors which made this organization really inspiring to me such as:
• Study and Discuss about how to deal with the "education" issue amongst children
• Realizing educational activities in schools and criticizing them, using the help of teachersand experts
• Benchmarking extracurricular activities in other countries such as USA
• Trying to find the best and the most appropriate educational methods and mechanisms
• Consulting with education experts in hopes to determine the most important grounds for improvement
• Getting updated through last academic papers related to projects
• Having the experience of teaching to children through a new method
D.What are the possible challenges facing the company in the future and how do you think this company may improve?
First of all, the most important challenge that project might face in the future is the diversity of people. As a totally voluntary organization, it will be hard to establish a common culture between people in the organization. Additionally, despite the fact that it is totally a voluntary organization, there are some norms that everybody should respect it and it might be perceived as limiting the liberty and therefore can cause an unethical impression.
Another issue that might challenge the project in the future is the question; if all children in Iran have the access to this edutainment system. Aseman started its initial working from Tehran, the capital, since all its members were students or teachers who were living in Tehran. Considering the fact that the Mission of Aseman is edutainment for development of Iran, The issue would be if Aseman keeps working just in Tehran and would not go further to other cities in Iran. In this case, we can say all children do not have the same access to this basement for development and might cause an unethical impression.
The current issue since three years ago has already been the fact that mostly all members are outstanding graduate students who seek a brighter future in their life by going abroad of Iran. They do not consider Aseman group as their future organization where they want to work for. This odes not mean that they do not like Aseman, there are so many other reasons which are mostly personal. Therefore, it is quite often after some years they would apply to study abroad and they would leave Aseman Group. The issue is that they would leave Aseman with all their knowledge and the experience they have got there. Therefore, Aseman has to invest again to teach some new entrants which is somehow watse of time and resources and raises some issues.
The Last issue is that there are some schools in Iran which are stick to their traditional system of education and they might not accept to take the chance and try this new method of education as a additional one for their students. I would like to mention that some of these schools have a very strong system of education and do not want to take the risk to change their system of education.