In with the NuVu

Kelvinside Academy's latest recruit, James Addison, could "transform education in Scotland"

Kelvinside Academy (KA) has further boosted its commitment to creative learning and innovation in education with the appointment of American designer James Addison. 

The move is the next step of the Glasgow school’s exclusive European partnership with NuVu, the world’s leading innovation school. 

A successful innovation and tech camp, which centred on solving real-world challenges, launched last summer. This camp returned in July and now, KA pupils will benefit from this unique style of learning throughout the new academic year with the appointment of NuVu design fellow James. To enrich the traditional curriculum, the MIT Master’s graduate will lead pupils through two-week immersive design projects. 

Headmaster Ian Munro said, “I believe as educators, it’s our duty to grow the spirit of innovation within pupils and develop their curiosity and creativity. I don’t believe the current educational model always does that very well.” 

“That’s why we’ve chosen to be open-minded and progressive in our approach,” continued Ian. “This move will introduce a new, but certainly no less powerful, style of learning for our pupils. I believe this collaboration will challenge aspects of Scotland’s education system for the better and help pupils to develop essential social, problem-solving, communication and technology skills. James will be a fabulous addition to the school and he will immediately enhance our offering. I hope this encourages other schools to introduce industry experts as part of the education process alongside fully qualified teachers. If so, it could transform education in Scotland.”

James Addison is from Charleston, Illinois and completed a Master’s of Architecture at MIT after graduating from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in Architectural Studies. Previously James has worked on urban-rural revitalisation projects in the Jiangsu province of China and was the lead design instructor for a technology-based entrepreneurship course in Mongolia.

“Growing up, my exposure to creative learning was very limited,” said James. “As a fellow with Kelvinside I will have the opportunity to share my perspective with kids, to challenge them to see the world through a new lens and to guide them in affecting positive change. This partnership also represents an opportunity beyond the classroom to co-create an educational experience with Kelvinside Academy’s teachers, the Glasgow community and local institutions that can be a beacon for education in Scotland.” 

Based in Boston, NuVu was established in 2010. Since then, thousands of pupils have experienced its unique educational model. Rather than classrooms and subjects, pupils work on collaborative projects, immersing themselves in the creative process and all its challenges, under the guidance of designers and experts from Harvard and MIT, solving real-life problems through a critical and rigorous process. Communication skills are honed with pupils presenting their finished project to guest experts, receiving constructive feedback in real time.