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How is the school you would dream you or your children to go to? What is your wish for tomorrow's education?

Our family and I travel a lot. My kids attend an international school, with a holistic approach and a big place for creativity. Previously, they used to attend a school, almost in the middle of the jungle with an organic farm and animals... Soon the six sense will be available and I believe this will bring a lot to education. I have heard of a school opening in south of china, where the whole village would be the class room and I love this idea.
I think my kids are very lucky. But I am very optimistic for the global community when it comes to the education of the future.
What will the school of the future look like?

  • Feb 7 2012: Great question Manue.
    I agree the whole village needs to be the school. Education has become so narrow minded. I'm 49 and feel like an Ugly Duckling. I discovered what I am good at late in life because I had no one like me as a mentor. Now that my kids are grown I'm really discovering how diverse life can be.
    First of all our schools are contributing to our health crisis here in the US, the kids need yoga, they need movement, humans are made to move, we are nomads, we are designed to run after our food. Lack of physical exercise creates toxins in the body, exercise also produces endorphins, those feel good biochemicals.
    We all crave healthy relationships but we don't learn anything about relationships in school.
    Art and music should not be graded, there should be no fear factor in doodling or expressing ones thoughts, feelings
    High school students should be cooking for each other, don't need staff to cook, just to supervise. Kids should also be cleaning the school. The idea that people who clean are "less" somehow than others is ridiculous and harmful for society.
    Thanks for letting me rant.
    • Feb 9 2012: I would like to elaborate even more upon the truth you stated, that "we don't learn anything about relationships in school."
      The high school I attended was a charter school with an emphasis on technical and professional education, emphasis on professional. During my time at the school I dated I wonderful girl from my engineering class. Two months into our relationship, the principal pulled us aside and gave us a talk. He outlined that there would be no kissing at the school, that hugs were to be limited to three a day for no more than five seconds, and that holding hands was allowed.
      As time went on, she became something of a representative for our school at the state level, and then the national level. I became an assistant martial arts instructor with 300 students (quite a number in the small town we lived in). The restrictions scaled with our rank. Outside of school we were constantly bumping into people that we worked with. More and more we were confined to expectations. We needed to act appropriately and professionally, as representatives and leaders. Which meant that we couldn't be caught kissing or making eyes at one another.
      This is understandably appropriate for a professional environment, but keep in mind, we were fifteen. How are we to learn of relationships when we aren't allowed to be in relationships?
    • Feb 12 2012: Yes, in France, we did not use to learn about relationships either. We did not even learn how to work together. I am glad my kids are both learning that at school.
      • Feb 12 2012: mon mari est francais. Mes enfants ont experimente les deux systemes educatifs (americain/francais)
        If you search Alexandra Chevalier in the Huffington Post you will find a short article comparing French and American styles of education. Alexandra is my daughter.

        Here's some wisdom for your school
        http://paulocoelhoblog.com/2012/02/11/agriculture-and-creativity/
        Best to you
        • Feb 15 2012: J ai Lu l'article! Bravo à Alexandra! C est très vrai!
          Moi-meme, j ai fait toute ma scolarité en France jusqu'au bac, et j'ai fait une année de high school aux US. Je n ai pas le projet de rentrer en France, ne serait- ce que pour que mes enfants continuent à frequenter l école Internationale! Le système IB est pas mal du tout. Les école qui couplent ce système a une véritable conscience écologique et a retour a la nature sont a mon avis encore supérieures aux simples écoles IB.
  • Feb 16 2012: I think Montessori has the right educational philosophy, "follow the child". My mom has been a Montessori teacher for 35 years and I went to a Montessori school in my youngest years. The approach is all about designing the environment to be exploratory and self-engaging. I am encouraged to see that from where I am from originally (Cincinnati,OH) they have opened two public Montessori highschools. These schools in theory are structured to work with the childs interests and strengths first while still using the state standards as the core of the curriculum.
    • Feb 16 2012: Thanks for your interest Nathan. yes, I think the Montessori schols and games are really nice. I like the way things are presented to the children, like the walk around the sun. I think, the system could be improved in adding some of the Waldorf philosophie. I am not talking about the mystical side you can find in those schools. But, I think, Waldorf Does something really excellent, and that is provide children with toys that develop the imaginations. In Montessori, games can be used only in one way. I think a new school taking the best from Waldorf and Montessori would be awesome!
  • Feb 15 2012: Thanks for the reply, Manue. Yes, that is funny. I forgot some people wouldn't think church as a place to socialize. To me, my whole week is just me waiting for Sunday. The best friends I have made come from my church. Well, it's also the place I grew up in. My whole family is there. I have many second mothers and fathers in the congregation, and my friends are more of brothers and sisters than just "friends". Some people don't think church is the place to find friends, when in reality fellowship and becoming tight knit is essential in the church. ^^ Although I doubt the church is the ONLY place you can find friends. Most people, though, think church a place where you do only one thing and focus on one thing which is entirely untrue.

    Aside from that, I can imagine there aren't many home schoolers in China. Too bad, because home schooling really does work and usually it is better than a public school where the education isn't tailored towards the individual.
  • Feb 10 2012: The best school I ever found, was the one I created for my daughter, Chrystol, and it was based on what I learned in Pitzer College. From the moment she opened her eyes, her little hands reached for clay, or a paint brush. She played the violin as The Balloon Girl, In "Gypsy" at the Granada theatre, was on the swim team, played in an orchestra., learned about exotic birds....The hard part was creating a transition .....life did that...and it was not easy for either of us. But today, she is a spontaneous, effervescent being....I'm glad that I created "Harborside School".
    • Feb 12 2012: A personalized school... Nice.
      • Feb 16 2012: Your daughter is very lucky to have such an involved parent in her education. Home schooling of course will be most effective if the parent teaching it knows how to teach and uses a well rounded curriculum. In my school system it seems some parents pull their kids out of school to home school them as some kind of statement to the system, sometimes kids are better off working with these parents, sometimes they really suffer.
  • Feb 8 2012: Children will learn what they want to do. We need to recognize that and celebrate it. IEPs for all and take away the need for prison like schools, hours, and tests. BUT what we have (the system) is so easy that no one seems to be able to break out (en masse). I so want to see broad based encouraging signs. I don't:(
    • Feb 9 2012: So, you don't think that tools like six sense will have a major impact on education?
      How about the Ted links I posted? Do you think those ideas won't spread fast enough?
      • Feb 10 2012: As an ex school superintendent (HS principal, assistant principal, HS special education teacher) and one who started an independent school paired with industry, I think things aren't moving...let alone slowly. With folks like Bill Gates and Waiting for Superman supporters still not able to get mass changes, how will we do anything? Yes, one kid being helped is better than none...and all you can do (ask Eleanor Roosevelt) is take care of your own....but it is so wrong. Education is the biggest inertia (if that were to be a thing) ever! Show me the encouraging signs please!
        • Feb 11 2012: The encouraging signs... Hum. Did you watch all the related talks to the question I posted?
          I think it is absolutely fabulous to see how technology can reach the most remote and poor places in the world. I read that six sense will quickly be the price of a I-phone. Isn't that mind blowing. Personally, I like to imagine my kid's children will not go to a traditional school. I hope they will join a group of kids of all ages, and be linked to the world via devices like six senses, and they will have an adult to supervise their work. There will be no real classroom. Depending on their life style, the physical classroom of the future generations would be a whole village, a whole town, a forest, a museum.... The virtual classroom would be the global village. I like to think, the future will be even brighter than that.
          I think your ex job is one of the most beautiful one could have. And it is nice that you started a school paired with industry. But I like to think, that the industrial era is almost over. I hope, everything will be robotized in the future. I hope our kids, and their kids will be inventors and creators or work serving the community by following their dreams.
  • Feb 7 2012: Very interesting question, and what an important one! Well, for me, living in the US.... education is a real disappointment until you get to college.

    I have had a lot of experience in schools. I have been public schooled, home schooled, private schooled, and now I go to an online school. Out of all of these, I have done best in the home school and online school environment.

    Home school works well, and probably worked well for me, because it can be tailored towards the individual.

    I believe the best schooling I have received has been the online school. It is structured similarly to a college and it is a classical education. But above all, it doesn't "lower the bar" of education. The classes are "hard" but they aren't "impossible" either for the average student. I'm actually getting tools for life. In this school, I have gotten more confident about sharing my opinion. About articulating and thinking. Even the things I'm bad at, such as maths, have become, while difficult, reachable. The teachers help you work for it if you're willing to put in effort.

    What I want for education in the future is education that embraces everyone - whether they are right brain or left brained dominant, whether they are visual, auditory, or kinesthetic - this is something we do not do all the time in education, which is a huge hindrance. We need an environment that doesn't constrict and stress a student with pressure, but still is a challenge in a good way.

    Around the world, everything is structured for the left brained dominated, and primarily for visual learners. This is very narrow. Not only that, but some learning environments put nothing but pressure on students, and so much of a students' future hinges on one thing - something like one test score. Either that or the education system simply doesn't give you the tools necessary for a future. Or both.

    There's my two cents. I feel like I mainly rambled.
    • Feb 12 2012: Tailor made, that is a good point. Did you manage to get enough kids to play with around you when you were home schooled?
      • Feb 14 2012: Good question, Manue. The years where I felt most alone and most self conscious were the years I went to an actual school. The years where I opened up and felt more confident were the years I was home schooled (and, now, schooled online). I always had kids around to play with.

        There are many falsehoods surrounding the kids who are home schooled. One being that we don't get much socialization. There are so many other places, though, where you can find friends away from school! Extra curricular activities, for instance, are a great way of making friends. I had my friends from church, from clogging, from choir, from around the neighborhood... needless to say, I had plenty of friends.

        Not to mention that while I was home schooled, I learned not only how to interact with people my own age, but with people much older than me.
        • Feb 14 2012: Nice. I suppose it also depends on where you live. In some places you won't find Many home schooled children.... Like in china where I am now.
          It is interesting to hear what you say about church. See, in France, my home country, a young adult would rarely mention the church as a place to socialize! But, yes, I remember writing a text on the subject in my school in America: "what influenced you in your political views". An American girl read it and said:" you forgot to mention the church." I said, I don't go to church". She looked at me shocked and sorry for me and said: " so you don't have friends then?" :o
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    Feb 7 2012: Suprise to see your introduction which you are living in China now.Welcome to China.
    Actually,the education of China is a disappointment.It tell us how to deal with the exam but don`t teach us how to use the knowledges.
    The GPA system is the main system of China`s education.We don`t call it GPA but score.And everything are base on it.Your ability is decided by your score,so as skill and moral quality.If you don`t have a good score you are a bad student and few things would change this situation.
    And THE EDUCATION are also deeply in the parents` mind.All they want their children to do is having a good score.This situation is lasting for a long time.We call it The cramming.
    I am college student and i feel upset of the education now.I hope the education can pay attention to training one`s ability and encourage them to thinking more and more.
    I hope our education can train more thinkers and creator but not bookworms.
    But tell the truth,I don`t think it will change in a short time.So, do my best to approve my abilities will be a good way to live under this situation of China.
    Please forgive my poor english.
    • Feb 7 2012: Ni Hao! Xie xie!
      I find your English really good! But you might answer "na li, na li" from what my Chinese teacher taught me!
      I live in Suzhou and I saw that there was a Tedx programmed on the 25th march about... education!!! I would like to attend this event. It sounds really promising!! What do you think?
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        Feb 7 2012: HI,glad to see your reply.Actually,I prefer to say "where?,where?" which is the Chinese meaning of "na li".
        I feel so upset that I am living in Guangdong and I hardly have time to attend that event.I feel thirsty in discussing about education!!! Because I think i am a sufferer of China`s education.I want to listen some different idea of education,that will make me know more and may change the way I teach my children.
        I think is worth to attend.Please help yourself.
        • Feb 7 2012: I remember my neighbor wanted to say the equivalent of so, so. Maybe she used a dialect. How do you think Chinese people feel about compliments? Is it the same all over china? Is it linked to the educational system?
          You have an attitude that I like. And i feel your kids or future kids will be very lucky.
          By the way... Did you say Children, like, more than one kid! Wow! That is so not common in china! Is it that I am new in china and only make assumptions? Is it because you have such a different view on having children?
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        Feb 7 2012: Er.........Actually,The children in my thinking include my son or daughter , my nephew and so on.I hope they will get a different but not a bad education.Except school learning, we can teach or train them other abilities.
        About compliments, just thanks it`s OK,I don`t think we need some complex word to appreciate someone.Just simple.And 'thanks' is in common use.
        I thnk dialect isn`t linked to the educational system because it`s a culture and you don`t need to learn it intentionally.
  • Feb 7 2012: I, as a korean. have a dream for our children's education. most of korean students usually go to privacy instituts after school. The hours in the institutes is different as them. But probably most of them study in the institutes for over 3~4hr a day. I hope our children play outside with their friends without the worries for the future. Why do the parents pay 30% of income in order to send their children to wellknown college. We need new changes on education policy.
    • Feb 7 2012: Thanks sanghun lee! I know that Koreans do have this reputation of pushing the children a lot. I am not sure that an education policy will be the best solution because it is a way of controlling the people. I hope that parents can get educated about the issue you are raising. Leaving a kid be a kid is crucial for his childhood and so beneficial for his future.