Education is changing. From Bali to New York, classrooms are being replaced with open spaces as teacher-student dynamics are evolving to give young minds more avenues of expression. The many different ways schools across the world are bringing education to young children is a testament to human creativity and should be celebrated – and that’s exactly what we’re doing in this article. So without further ado, here’s a list of schools that deserve an A+ for inspiring educators all over the world to do even better.
Carpe Diem Schools across the USA
Carpe Diem schools are found across three American states. These schools substitute classrooms with open plan areas that allow for more social interaction between students. The schools implement a blended learning model with a curriculum that is largely project and computer-based.
Students are assessed and taught at their level of comprehension, thus giving students room to explore, organise and use information independently and also get opportunities to work directly with local colleges, community organisations and local businesses that teach them skills to solve real-world problems.
The Makoko School in Nigeria
Fancy a floating first period? The Makoko School in Nigeria is a one of a kind, 3-storey, triangle-shaped classroom designed for buoyancy. This floating school includes a playing area, toilets and classrooms that accommodate up to 100 students. Prior to its construction, the children of Makoko had access to one sparsely resourced school. That was until 2013, when Nigerian architect Kunle Adeyemi, proposed to build a school that complemented the local community’s aquatic lifestyle.
Adeyemi worked with NGOs to fund the project and won recognition for blending nature, design and education in such an innovative way – and putting more bums in classroom seats in the process Sadly, the school suffered extensive damage in 2017, but this hasn’t deterred the architectural community. Makoko has since had upgraded models designed that are earmarked for construction.
Bali’s Green School
After visiting Bali’s Green School, UN secretary general Ban Ki-Moon called it the most unique and impressive school he had ever seen. Students at the Bali Green School are taught an appreciation for nature and open spaces thanks to classes without walls. Built solely from bamboo and powered by the sun’s energy, students learn in harmony with mother nature.
Traditional subjects are combined with more experiential ones like cooking, gardening and sustainability with a diverse complement of students and teachers. In fact, teachers from around the world have taken up tenure at the Green School to learn the ways of this groundbreaking institution. An increasing amount of eco-friendly homes are also being erected nearby, thus securing a steady stream of future enrollees.
Sands School in the UK
Sands School takes the concept of democratising education to an entirely new level. The school has no headteacher and hierarchies to speak of. Instead, affairs are managed jointly by students and staff with no uniform required. Sands has been involved with the worldwide international democratic education movement (IDEC) since 1991 and has partner schools in Israel, Japan, U.S.A and a number of European countries.
Students play a key role in the day-to-day running, thus have an equal stake in ensuring its upkeep and sustainability. Classes are kept small with shared meals and practical life skills are a central part of the curriculum. Students are also allowed to complete exams when they feel best prepared for them, instead of dealing with exam deadlines.
Park School, UK
Park School is one of the longest running alternative schools in the United Kingdom with a strong focus on cultural inclusion, mutual respect and individual expression. Set in the historic Dartington Hall Estate in South Devon, the school focuses on building strong social ties among students and teachers and are encouraged to become constructive members of the community.
Open spaces and woodlands set the stage for children across the age spectrum to explore, play and learn together. The well-maintained garden also serves up organic, vegetarian lunches and students share in the post-lunch clean up and other duties to ensure everyone appreciates the value of learning to lend a hand.
Embracing change is a lesson in its own right
The schools mentioned in this article are just some of many that are rewriting classroom rules. As an educational institution that’s constantly evolving its offering to students across the country, Boost Education celebrates the achievements of their achievements. And while our classes may not float on the river Thames just yet, make sure you check out your nearest Boost Education centre to learn more about how we are bringing the best in tuition services to young minds across the country.