Discover the design of this Kindergarten School in Japan.
Now imagine what it would look like with multiple ages. Would segregation of the young children be necessary? Why?
Could Elementary School Children be able to coexist with High School children?
This is what Salman Khan believes in his ” The One World School House”. He writes page 192: “This separation by age is the most powerful division of all, because it has allowed for the development of set curricula and ultimately arbitrary but consensual standards of what kids should learn at a given grade level. Expectations move in lockstep, as though eight or ten or twelve-year-olds were interchangeable… There is nothing natural about segregating kids by age. This isn’t how families work; it isn’t what the world looks like; and it runs counter to the way that kids have learned and socialized for most of human history.”
Start dreaming. Imagine a daycare like the one above. Imagine the fun it would be to work there. Of course it’s colder and wetter here probably but have we ever even given this thought?
Listen to this account of the new role of teachers:
And Seniors? I’ll leave it to your thoughts.
How can we design such a space? We need play areas, fitness areas, trampolines and fun. We need tables for group games and projects, and little quiet areas to rest. Classrooms don’t need to be closed. Why can’t we allow a child to join in and out of an activity? If a child leaves, maybe the stuff we presented was not interesting? or only interesting to some? Let her go and spread her wings like the little Japanese toddlers.
The flip side is we refuse to do this because we have to keep tabs on development numerically. We need grades everyday to define how well a student does. We seem as educators to have to document a child’s progress every step of the way.
Now supposing we let computers keep the data rolling by monitoring academic progress such as Khan Academy has? and we educators just relax to do what we do best and that is to support learning?