Saturday, November 03, 2007

[TIPS] An experimental school

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=15322289&ft=1&f=1013

How about this - a school with no classes, and no teachers. What do you think?

"The feeling is comfortable. There is a hum of constant conversation, none of the screaming and yelling heard in a traditional school. Kids are free to move about the school, so there's no need for hall passes or for teachers to patrol the hall. And there's no need to send kids to the office."

This reminds me of the IBM school in the late 1940's in which Mr Watson put a group of brihgt students into a room that contained lots of electronic equipment, lots of chemical equipment, and lots of other equipment. Teachers were there to make sure the kids didn't hurt themselves. The kids eventually drifted to one area or another, depending upon their interest. EVERY student in that school ended up becomming a major player, or CEO, or inventor, or leading scientist in his/her adult life. I remember hearing this story on NPR one time but I cannot find it again to save my soul.

This isn't anything that is replicable in a large scale, to be sure. But, does it show that kids will learn in spite of the teachers? Does it show that all we need to do is expose them to lots of different things and they will drift naturally to the one that interests them the most? How the heck can we test THAT? :-)

Read the story. What do you think (besides the fact that it's not something that we can do in large scale?)

1 comment:

kenrodoff said...

So this is the set-up:

"The feeling is comfortable. There is a hum of constant conversation, none of the screaming and yelling heard in a traditional school. Kids are free to move about the school, so there's no need for hall passes or for teachers to patrol the hall. And there's no need to send kids to the office."

And here is what follows:

Roger finds a boulder up on the top of the mountain. Beneath him is a pudgy little boy, a kid everyone calls Piggy. Roger sticks a speak underneath the boulder and using all of his weight, he presses down on the other end of the stick. The boulder tumbles. Piggy is crushed...and there's no need to send kids to the office.