For too long schooling has appeared stagnant, a product of a bygone era. But fresh ideas are springing up all round the world bringing the future of education into today’s classroom.
Here are five innovative ideas changing the face of education right now:
1. Project DEFY - Designing Education For Yourself
Imagine a school without teachers. Chaos, right? Well, in rural India, Project DEFY is proving it can be done. Project DEFY sets up community makerspaces where young people use the internet to teach themselves anything they want to learn, and then carry out projects which inspire them personally.
The project focuses on bringing education to areas where formal education isn’t a reality, but it teaches important lessons which can inform standardized education too. DEFY is an excellent example of student-led learning, how to utilize the possibilities of the internet, and how the role of the teacher is changing to being a more informal guide and facilitator rather than controlling learning.
At Project DEFY the only limits are your imagination, resourcefulness, and the power of google searches. Not a teacher in sight!
2. 3D Printing - Getting to grips with groundbreaking tech
Unless education catches up, we might be heading towards a major skills shortage in the tech industry. That’s why 3D Bear is bringing future skills, like 3D modelling and printing, as well as AR and VR, into Finnish schools.
It’s not just flashy technology. It’s a practical, pedagogical and cross curricular approach to learning.
3D printing is ideal for phenomenon based learning and engages the students’ five senses, bringing abstract learning into the physical realm. These technologies could revolutionize classroom learning. It’s the kind of thing that makes you wonder, is the future already here?
3. A Year as an Entrepreneur - Preparing to thrive in the world of work
School doesn’t always prepare us for the world of work. That needs to change. The Junior Achievement's Company in Finland is giving high school students the opportunity to build a real business whilst continuing their studies.
Not only do they learn entrepreneurial skills, but they can trial their ideas in real life and even compete against other companies in the program. Important career-related skills are picked up along the way, as well as a sense of responsibility and contribution.
4. Global Oneness Project - Local schools, global outlook
We live in a globalized world and technology is set to make it more so. But are schools, traditionally shut off from the outside world, preparing students for this reality?
The Global Oneness Project brings the world to the classroom through award winning, beautiful and thoughtfully crafted films, photography, and articles. The stunning materials are supported by cross curricular lesson plans that inspire critical thinking, intercultural understanding, empathy and global responsibility.
5. The Kilonpuisto Comprehensive School experiment - Nurturing the child’s inner world
Looking after your mental health and emotional well-being is vital for a happy and successful life. So why is it so rarely given top priority at school?
This Finnish experiment is all about holistic education. Children explore self awareness and social-emotional skills from an early age, skills that can last a lifetime. Learning to relax, to explore empathy, and to recognise and articulate emotions are crucial skills in today’s hectic world. If this can lead to compassionate, peaceful, and tolerant shapers of the future - then that’s an added bonus!