My end goal is and always will be to open the best school in the world. These schools will give kids the ability to reason for themselves; giving them tools to research many sources, take all opinions with a pinch of salt and come to their own understandings.
Kids will be taught how to make things, and make things work for them. Computer languages, programming and assembly will be taught alongside traditional subjects like languages, maths, sciences, history and religious studies. Maturity and choice will be at the foreground of the teacher/student dynamic.
Most dating profiles ask for people who have a GSOH (Good Sense of Humour). Yet this isn’t taught anywhere. So our solution: Mischief taught as a class in school, encouraging laughter and creativity. Maturity is built by discovering where the line is between good and bad humour. Kids understand for themselves when to apologise for a joke that comes out being offensive (to others).
Other less traditional subjects will be taught to plug current gaps of understanding, like law, mechanical and electrical engineering (why can’t kids take an engine apart and put it back together?!), just like in The Tinkering School. And School Stock Market - young entrepreneurs raising capital from their peers (limits on investment to safeguard risk).
Debating and accountability will feature highly.
The biggest flaw in current schools is the disregard for physical education in favour of academia. The mind and body go hand-in-hand, and this should be reflected in the school schedule.
The school day will start at 7:30am and lessons will end at 12:30pm (the same amount of academic time current school days incorporate).
Breaktime/playtime will be supplemented with amazing grounds, playgrounds, clubs and activities. After lunch, everyone will take a power nap/siesta! A nap is a right, not a privilege.
The afternoon will then be dedicated to physical activity, honing amazing technical sporting skills. All the hours of practice that professional athletes and sportspeople need to excel will be as standard for ALL children, so that they are world-class at any and many different disciplines. The 10,000 hours of practice needed to be excellent at something will be for every child, as highlighted in Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers.
The result is more in the school day, but a better balance of it, all due to an earlier start, with the school day ending at 6:30pm. Parents who work will never be at a disadvantage again. No need for special treatment as a result of needing to drop and pick up kids to and from school during work hours.
Parenting is in massive, robotic, ignorant crisis. Parents will also participate, so that the home environment is right. It is absurd that we know environment shapes kids, but neglect to get the home environment right. This is a whole other topic, but one that goes hand-in-hand with the best schooling possible.
Homework will be half and hour, and must involve the whole family to do. It’ll be the medium to inform parents what kids have been up to at school. Homework will no longer be a burden to children and their families.
And last but not least hire the right people. While the government forces the young and inexperienced to teach, the real value comes from recycling acquired knowledge. Help train people with real life experience to teach. That way we don’t lose all the intricate things people have learnt through their lives (the key would be to bring parents in for regular sessions on what unique knowledge they have acquired). The Amazings helps older people transfer their knowledge and skills to the next generation. We salute them!
By giving people the ability to reason and understand the world for themselves, society will never be prone to having stereotyped drone populations such as “Daily Mail readers” and blind allegiance to party politics will break down.
Another hope of providing the best schooling in the world is university places will be cut, to focus again on quality lecturing and research, rather than the current dumbing-down culture of giving everyone a piece of paper that is increasingly worth less and less (funny that money and education both have that in common - gold standard anyone?). Too many degrees devalues the achievements of those with good degrees. Education is about skills, knowledge and applicable maturity. Today, education is about collecting certificates and letters.
Industry and employers need to take the lead by better recruiting; i.e. not focusing on minimum requirements that underpin this race to the top of paper-collection.