Creating the best school for the Netherlands and the world

I met Marcel Kampman recently. He was born, lives and works in a small town, 130 kms from Amsterdam, Meppel. This week I learned that Marcel is a father of two. His dream is that his children will be inspired to achieve brilliance by the teachers that teach them, the curriculum that they are taught and by the schools that they attend. A dream that I share for children around the world. But he also realises that this may be a pipe dream since it’s a scientific fact that children are far more creative at the age of 4, a whopping 98%; than at the age of 18, a depressing 2%. Sir Ken Robinson’s book, The Element: How finding your passion changes everything and TED talks reveal that schools actually stifle creativity instead of nurturing it. Seemingly, when we start school, we’re at our fullest potential but, each time we make choices, we leave ourselves fewer and fewer opportunities, which slims down our potential when we finally complete our education. “The more you choose, the more you lose.”

With this in mind, what if you could reinvent a school from scratch? What would you change? How would the technologies that reinvent education impact the construction and design of the building? How and what would you teach? Unlike many before him, Marcel Kampman has stood up to the challenge and Dreamschool Foundation and Project DreamSchool was born in the Netherlands. He’s now spreading the word at Lift and TED, gathering opinions and ideas and reinventing schools. Watch his presentation at Lift.

And, let’s face it, creating anything new in schools is a scary task. There’s that break with tradition and everything that’s governmental and bureaucratic. The project innovators of Dreamschool are ‘making it up as they go along’, since very little they think about, has been done before. They do have help from brilliant minds around the world though e.g. Sir Ken Robinson.

Am I curious as to where it will end up? Yes, sure I am! Do I believe it can work? Yes, I do. The biggest dreams start with the most ordinary people. What makes these people different, is that they dare to try. The stone age didn’t end due to a lack of stones you know. So, perhaps the age of classical education ends here! You can follow Marcel and the activities of Project Dreamschool on his website or you can follow him on twitter.

One thought on “Creating the best school for the Netherlands and the world

  1. Another highly innovative school is in Sydney – see scil.com.au (Sydney Centre for Innovative Learning). Stephen Harris, the Principal, heads up Dan’s school. The teaching methods make use of the latest computer technologies and the kids have a work matrix – giving them choice – whilst covering the curriculum. As parents – we can see that that school is a much more exciting environment – but some of us feel quite anxious because it is so different to how our classical style teaching “looked”. Interesting piece Helen!

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