We can all attest to two things in life. One: hearing from our parents that education and schooling especially, was far better in their time. And two: actually getting bored in class even when we are studying our favourite subject. But times change and many brilliant schools try different ways to educate the young minds.
Traditionally, education started off on a very practical note, with early Neolithic cultures teaching their children practical survival skills. But with the advent of art and philosophy, vaguer methods of teaching subjects that could not use visual aids developed faster and in a larger number.
And over the years, this book-dependent approach seems to have taken over the entire system. Then came the worst of all: exam-dependent gig education, i.e. studying for exams only. This is further aggravated by the number of so-called multiple choice exams for major institutes and jobs.
This has made education even more trivia-based and boring. I think the only exception was Rabindranath Tagore, the Indian Nobel laureate and thinker, starting his ‘naturalistic’ method of education at Shantiniketan, Bolpur, India.
But, on a bigger scale, it has always been bookish, uncool, and boring. However, keeping that aside, let’s see these ten brilliant schools which show education can still be cool and learning can be quite fun and interesting:
1. Protractor with the door
This school uses a protractor doormat. This keeps the door as the perpendicular which can show children at what angle the door is opened. It fully closes at 180 degrees and fully opens at 90 degrees. This makes a very commonplace thing that makes up for the lack of proper visual aid in mathematics. After all, seeing a boring piece of glass/plastic in your geometry box is much more boring than this innovative idea.
2. The Periodic table wall
The wall at this school is modelled after the periodic table, with glass slides encasing tiny samples of all the elements on it. This is a wonderful way of doing things because actual visual elements help children remember the elements’ names.
3. Fuji Kindergarten, Tokyo
This kindergarten has a very beautiful zelkova right in the middle of it, around which the authorities have built a beautiful whorl. This whorl serves as a playground for the kids.
4. Computer room wire-hanger
Some artist in the school made sure to put a few laughs on the students’ faces by making the wire-hanger a face. Visually funny and interesting, it makes the wires braids look like hair on the face’s head.
5. The mirrored cooking class
Cooking classes often use cameras to record the processes and show them to students later. This is an innovative and eco-friendly class. Instead of using electricity to record the entire class, an angled mirror on top of the teacher’s head freely broadcasts what is cooking to the students in the class.
6. Literature boulevard
The school has painted all the lockers in the form of book spines, making a walk to the gate a true walk down the classics lane. Such a beautiful and innovative thought!
7. Solar charging station
This school has a bench where students can sit and charge their devices using the solar panel underneath the table-top. Resting for the user and power for the device, all at once!
8. Movement lanes
Akin to swimming lanes in pools, the entire school’s stairs are divided into three channels: for walking, running, and texting students respectively.
9. Science building
The tables in this science building are painted with the symbols of elements from the periodic table. Visually appealing, students can learn chemical elements and their formula while they eat.
10. Slides to class
This school has twisty slides that plop you down to your desk in class. Quite a fun-filled way of entering your class, isn’t it?