How do you wish your dream school to be like? Imagine a school made of bamboo, with few walls and with curtains which divide the wide space. A place where students and teachers come from all over the world and where during daily standard lessons you work on your personal innovative project. And what if the relationship between students and teachers are informal and their status equal?
Such a school exists, and it’s the Green School Bali, based on an Indonesian island. It was founded about 10 years ago by John Hardy. Here at the COY13 we have met some of its students and a teacher, and we have asked them tons of questions! They have inspired us so much that we have decided to write about them. We would like to highlight the differences between this school and the traditional ones. Here are some pieces of information that we have collected from the interviews with Ruby, an Australian student, and Mauricio, a Mexican teacher.
Ruby has attended this school for the last 2 years but it took her a couple of years to get in, because she was living in Australia. Usually, students attending traditional schools complain a lot on how boring the lessons are, consequently it’s almost unbelievable to learn that Ruby is so in love with her school. She has defined it as a “giant family of like-minded people”. Unlike the schools we know, based on a system which is rigid and doesn’t leave much space to students’ creativity, the Green School Bali focuses on raising students’ awareness and inspires them to take action, so that they are connected with what is going on around the world and they can relate to real life.
Mauricio got to know the school while he was looking for projects related to environmental education on the internet. He found the school’s project so interesting and cool that he decided to move to Indonesia to experience it directly. He has been teaching in the school for 5 years now, and during his lessons the students work in team on their own projects for 6 weeks. His role consists in helping them to figure out the best ways to realise their projects. He really enjoys working in the school: “it’s a fun place where to be” he says, and he agrees on the fact that relationships between students and teachers are more similar to the ones among friends. He has also explained that teachers are more flexible and free, even though they still give some evaluation to students’ works and do other things typical of a traditional system.
So, what do you think? Would the Green School Bali be the kind of school that we need to save our planet?
Check out their channel:WebsiteFacebook pageJohn Hardy’s Ted Talk about his Green School Bali