There is news everyday of how our education system is faulty and often ignores the basic tenets of good schooling. Some call it boring, some call the traditional methods regressive and counter-productive. But, then there were some, who took it upon themselves to innovate and come up with their own ways of teaching and schooling. Here’s a list of a few of such schools from around the world, that are unusual, in terms of what and how they teach.
1. The Train Platform Schools, India
Unique Feature: It brings schools to kids who cannot afford an education.
This excellent initiative was taken by an Indian teacher Inderjit Khurana, to help and educate kids begging on the streets. Taking school to children, this unique initiative offers education to 4,000 students as well as food and medication to their families.
2. The Makoko Floating School, Nigeria
Unique Feature: This school floats on water and can accommodate 100 children at a time.
Originally built to resist the rising water-levels in the lagoons, this school floats and can accommodate about 100 children, even in extreme weather conditions.
3. World’s Greenest School, Indonesia
Unique Feature: Their campus is wholly sustained by natural resources.
This is the greenest school in the world with classes being held inside a huge bamboo and straw hut. The campus is built using sustainable natural material and is powered by more than 100 solar panels.
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4. The Cubical School, Denmark
Unique Feature: They have sections called ‘drums’ where students can sit and think.
This school has a huge area called the gymnasium which is divided by sections called ‘drums’ where students can sit and think. With over 1,100 kids in the school, this kind of a design is created to encourage creative thinking.
5. Dong Zhong: The Cave School, China
Unique Feature: This school educated about 186 students with the help of 8 teachers, in a cave.
Dong Zhong, built by nature and discovered in 1984, was located in one of China’s poorest areas, Mao village in Ziyun County. It offered to educate kids who didn’t have any access to education. In 2011, this school was shut down by the Chinese government after they declared that the country is not ‘a society of cavemen’. Nothing has been done to make the situation better but until 2011, this unique primary school operated with 8 teachers educating 186 students.
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6. The School In The Real World, USA
Unique Feature: They let the kids focus on whatever they want to focus on.
This school lets kids do what they want. When the same kids grow up, they help them figure out what profession they can pursue and they are assisted with a mentor who specialises in their area of interest. Their teaching strategy is currently adopted by 55 schools nationwide. Sounds like my kind of a school! (This should be the norm, not unusual!)
7. The School of Silicon Valley, California
Unique Feature: They have hi-tech equipments to improve creative thinking.
This school is strictly against traditional approaches to teaching and learning. Educating kids aged 4-14, this school uses top-notch technology like iPads, 3D modelling and music to improve their creative thinking and tech skills.
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8. Unique Feature: They have cubicles instead of classrooms.
Instead of classrooms, this school has 300 cubicles – one for each student from ages 3-12 – who are encouraged to learn on their own. In case of any doubts, there are instructors to help them out.
9. Trabajo Ya, Spain
Unique Feature: They provide professional courses in prostitution.
In Spain, prostitution is legal and Trabajo Ya, a school built to teach the most effective tricks in the business of prostitution, was started in Valencia. This school offers a basic course in professional prostitution with maximum discretion.
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10. The ‘Dangerous’ School, California
Unique Feature: They let students participate in their own learning process.
Imagine a place where you could draw all day, dissemble household appliances, get dirty and do everything your parents ask you not to do. The Brightworks school is that kind of a school where kids get to participate in their learning process.
11. Harvey Milk High School, New York
Unique Feature: It was built keeping LGBTs in mind.
If you have ever been in a school where you often felt that you couldn’t fit in, regardless of your sexual orientation, this school is where you would have always wanted to go. The Harvey Milk High school was built keeping LGBTs in mind. Having been almost destroyed by anti-gay groups several times, this school got its name from the California politician who helped promote the gay rights movement in the 70s.
12. The Gender-Neutral School, Sweden
Unique Feature: There is no ‘he’ or ‘she’, but only ‘they’.
This school has no concept of a ‘he’ or a ‘she’. All the kids are treated equally and referred to as ‘they’. They also put a lot of emphasis on mental health and fighting stereotypes.
13. The Brightest Elementary School, Sweden
Unique Feature: They have turned corridors into libraries.
This school has turned corridors into libraries, complete with resources and a Wi-Fi access. According to them, corridors promote collaboration between students and teachers for better learning.
14. Wahroonga Preparatory School, Australia
Unique Feature: This school emphasises on individual learning.
This school is bright AF but that isn’t the most exciting part of this school. It follows the path of individual learning plan which can easily be adjusted by teachers and parents. Also, all classes are held in small groups.
15. Steve Jobs School, Amsterdam
Unique Feature: The interests and talents of a student are of utmost importance to them.
Another school following an individual learning plan is Steve Jobs School. They take into consideration the talents, skills, and interests of these kids, grade 4-12, and the plan is readjusted every 6 weeks.
16. Sudbury Schools, USA
Unique feature: The students decide how to evaluate themselves.
This school follows a system wherein the children decide their timetable and what they wish to study on which day. The student has complete control over what and how they learn, as well as how they are evaluated.
Tell us if you know of any such unique schools.