VISITING A 21ST CENTURY SCHOOL part 2

There was nothing new about the teaching and learning process. In fact , I am sure most teachers would be familiar with approaches, methods, activities, resources, etc put in place. What stroke me the most was actually the implementation and  effectiveness of all that.

The whole process was about putting emphasis on two main features: individualization & diversity.

Different learning styles were always considered as part of such process. Teachers  worked very hard to ensure children had a wide range of activities everyday to cater for all those styles in the group. Children were regarded as  individuals not just students. Teachers along with parents and pedagogues set individual & attainable targets for children every term. No standardized tests or reports were used to inform the wide school community about children’s progress.

As for diversity, the differences about their learning were openly praised and celebrated in small or bigger groups. Children seemed to feel extremely comfortable and confident with their work because basically they were feeling respected and valued.

I would like to finish this part mentioning Sir Ken Robinson and his book The Element. His distinction between teacher-centered and students-centered education turns out to be a very clear example of which direction to take in this century.

 “there are two types of education: fast food and Michelin guide. The first one has to do with standardizing education. The latter with individualization, diversity & creativity”.

I was lucky to see in Hellerup  that it is possible to build a school where children feel truly estimated, valued and loved.

TO BE CONTINUED …

Related links :

Hellerup Skole:http://www.hellerupskole.dk/Infoweb/Designskabelon8/Rammeside.asp?Action=&Side=&Klasse=&Id=&Startside=&ForumID=

Sir Ken Robinson Blog: http://sirkenrobinson.com/skr/

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