This post is for the MOOC I’m currently studying on Coursera (see this post for details).

Open Space, Open Curriculum

I’d like to compare the video The best kindergarten you’ve ever seen, and the blog post Curriculum is not content.
As an educator myself, I am constantly thinking of ways of stepping outside the accepted comfort zone and bringing a little more excitment into classes. Earlier in the course we saw how North Beaches Christian School groups students together for music classes. It really impressed me the idea of having different zones and allowing students to wander around them freely.
This same idea is explored with the perfect kindergarten (although being British, I would call it ‘playschool’). I love the idea of a circular school with access to a central open space and zones rather than classrooms. As Heppell discusses in the blog post “Curriculum is not content”, I think this idea could apply throughout the education system. Imagine a school for teenagers on the same architectural plan as Tezuka’s kindergarten, but with zones for performing and recording music as in North Beaches, research areas, labs, etc, and a curriculum that is developed and written by each student. Where the adults are guides rather than teachers, and where teamwork and creativity are the norm rather than some abstract concepts the teachers are expected to impart somewhere between the neverending flow of exams.

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