TED Conversations

Gabriella Araimo

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A school where fees depend on wealth,where students can borrow books instead of buying them and learn through games,music,acting and debates

A new high school for Italy ( and the world):
1. You have to pay a school fee depending on how much money you have, but you don't have to buy any book or computer because the school lend them you
2. Every subject is teached in a more interesting way: maths through games, physics and biology through experiments ,languages through music and acting, history and philosophy through reading and debates, art through practice
3.Each classroom has two teachers: one is older and/or with more experience and another one is younger and/or more enthusiastic, one teaches practice and another one explains theory, an actor or a musician work swith a language teacher; this help students also dealing with two different points of view in every situation
4. There are lessons in the afternoon, so students who live far from the school will eat at the school canteen
5. Each two weeks there will be a test or a lesson made by groups of students who have worked together on a specific topic
These are examples of school days:
8:00-10:00 French and acting, break, 10:15- 12:15 History, Philosophy , documentary and debate, break, 12:30- 13:30 current affairs, break and lunch, 15:00- 16:30 sport, break, 16:45- 18:15 homework of a subject studied in the morning (some teachers help the students that have difficulties), end of the lessons ( no homework at home!)
Tuesday ( same timetable):
Maths and games, break, physics and experiments, break, latin, break and lunch, art and painting, homework, home
English and music, break, Biology, Chemistry and open-air lessons, break, informatic, break and lunch, sport, homework, home
My purpose is to create a high school that prepares not only for University, but also for social life. What is your opinion?

Topics: education

Closing Statement from Gabriella Araimo

I want to thank each of you for the precious, interesting and appropriate contributions that opened my eyes and made me more conscious of the problems of any education system. First of all, the funding problem, the difficulty in convincing governments to invest in school expecially during a period of crisis. Second, the natural differences among human intelligences, interests and aptitudes. Third, vandalism. Fourth, the risk that an emphasis on debate can encourage students to find strong arguments to win rather than to understand.
However, some of us have proposed practical solutions, others have shaped their personal experience, others have simply appreciated (the no homework aspect, for example). All of these things make me hope in the future: answers are only to be found. Godspeed to everyone!

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    Dec 27 2012: This school of yours would be a wonderful idea, but i see a major problem with your first point.
    The kind of school system you are talking about would require a lot of funding.
    And more than 90% of the parents will not be able to afford the fees, this means that the wealthy few would have to pay a lot to compensate for them.
    Now there are already a lot of schools with world class facilities, teachers etc. which are there for the rich people so they will not wish to participate in this New school system.
    This means that the government has to invest significantly larger amount of money in education.
    I don't see this happening considering the current financial situation.May be in future some of the developed countries will be able to afford to do this,given that people demand it.
    But for the majority of the developing nations, such idealistic education systems are far down in the list of priorities.
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      Dec 27 2012: There are countries with public education systems that involve no fees from their millions of students and where students borrow books rather than buy them through grade 12.
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      Dec 28 2012: Well, you're right when you say that a system like this would require a lot of money, and I have not considered that rich people may not wish to go to this kind of school, even in Italy where private colleges are often full of corruption. I also believe that fees are inevitable, at least at the beginning. Nowadays in Italy we already spend about 300 euros a year in books and school furniture. Families will have just to use that money in a different way.
      I'm a student and every day I see my classmates losing enthusiasm and interest in learning. What society are we going to build with these apathetic men? What progress will have our economy if we continue to escape from study, work and research? I think nations will pay a lot for this in the long term.
      I'm aware of the current crisis and I don't hope that this kind of education systems are first place in priorites. But maybe governments will change their mind after proving its positive results. So, how to find money to start a school like this and demonstrate that it has only advantages?

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