This article is the third in the series of submissions received for the Futures Of Education (FoE), a UNESCO initiative in partnership with Kidskintha.
Generation z and generation alpha are witnessing the most rapid technological, social, political and cultural changes. For them ‘vasudaivam kutumbakam’ (world is is my family) is a reality. They are growing up in an open, fast paced world. Generation z and alpha are immersed in technology and often prefer it over human interaction and hence face the threat of mental and emotional issues. However, they are passionate about equality, safety, ecology and helping the under-privileged.
“One World School”
The one world school can be described as a revolutionary school where friends are teachers and teachers are facilitators.
If there is one thing that the educators of the school believe in; is the aspect of unpredictability. Generation Alpha, along with generation Z, has witnessed on one hand unprecedented technological progress and on the other hand unpredictable outcomes of such progress. One World School, of-course believes in holistic development of their children, but has the wisdom and foresight to adapt and understand that the pedagogical and curricular requirements have changed and hence, focuses on bringing up individuals who expect, accept and adapt to change.
So here is how “One World School” operates: they have embraced digital learning, so the teaching sessions are carried out online which has in turn arrested rising school fees and discouraged land barons to enter the education sector to milk it as a business.
There are no compartmentalized subjects, rather interdisciplinary core graded courses with electives. These are categorised under academic learning and are held 3 days a week.
The heart of the school is their sessions on life skills and Socio-Emotional development. These are mandatory in-school sessions, transacted through art based activities where students come together to solve problems, play games.
If you thought that ‘One World School’ was a swanky building, you would be so off the mark. It is an open structure with nature embedded into physical school spaces. The trees planted around are not just for decor, they aide life and learning. The path and open sitting arrangements give children the opportunity to observe and appreciate nature. Where each child’s learning pace determines his or her learning level.
The most unique feature of ‘One World School’ is that it is not physically limited to a geographical region but is connected across the globe.
The broad levels at One World School,
Foundation years – Ages 2 to 5 years
The school provides ready material, tutorial and training for parents. It also supports parents on other parenting requirement like regular medical reminder, food nutrition and exercises for children. Children from the age of 4 years come to school to expand their views, and build social interaction. Their hours at school are filled with physical activities like nature walks, games, music & movement, play. While there is no assessment there is regular observation and corrective direction given on their progress.
Early Years –Ages 5 to 10 years
The meandering young children are kept in the warmth of emotional cocoon building on whatever they have learned during their home schooling of foundation years. Lessons and techniques are focused on developing love for learning. Onsite presences is emphasised to build their ability to connect socially and indulge in physical activities.
Middle years – Ages 11 to 15
Action oriented learners are given ample opportunity to discover and nurture their interest (even if they vary on annual basis). The school decides the width of the topic, the child decides the depth. The time is equally divided between onsite and offsite learning. With immense exposure to societal information, the school focuses on helping children grasp the balance of “right & wrong”, form and express opinions after understanding of its impact on others.
Effort is taken to counsel students on usage, safety and laws around the use of technology.
A compulsory ‘Student exchange’ program finds its feet in the later part of middle years. Physical and mental fitness training is imparted regularly.
Graduation years – Ages 16 to 19 years
These are most action packed years in life of any individual; the teens are now groomed to take on the world. Each child is counseled on their future journey based on their area of interest, the academic achievement, the scientific analysis and co-scholastic performance.
The learning revolves around various projects that involve collaborate with their virtual friends/colleagues. Their assignments also require them to reach out and contribute to the physical world around them.
Through these projects they are encouraged to make meaningful contribution, and take action, provide service that can make a difference to various aspects and areas of society.
The final year, the year of ‘window where they get real world experience. Based on their choice of field and interest they get exposure to working environment, businesses entrepreneurship, social change etc…
While academic performance is assessed, the teachers and peers have a tougher role in assessing qualitative aspect of progress. The parameters being: being a team player, a leader, their ability to listen, understand and empathize with perspectives other than their own.
One World School is confident that their children are ready to take on the ever changing world and the challenges it may throw.
Read more at “Will Digital Spaces Replace The Need For Human Connection In The Future?” and “Autism Friendly Colleges- Are We Ready When Autism Goes To College?”