School for creative minds

_DSC5622Einstein used to say that a picture was worth moore to him than a 1000 words. Once when Einstein had thrown bricks at one of his numerous assistants the head stated to his parents it does not matter what we do, he still would not become anything. Einstein is remembered as one of the greatest creative minds ever. Anyone who remember his headmaster? It takes a good leadership to discover, understand and develop this creative minds that we are in urgent need of.

98% of children in kindergarten have divergent thinking, in secondaryschool, they have lost 50% of it! Many brilliant think they are not smart in today’s schools and ends up in exclusion that cost a lot in both lost expertise, humanity, resources, and money.

Sweden is a prosperous welfare state yet in Sweden KTH – Royal Institute of Technology has difficulties to recruit, there are not enough students with the level of maths that will be needed (Asperger students normaly high function in maths has already been screened away in the academic secondaryschools).

Sweden now harbors more than 12 % in each cohort from society. National economists Ingvar Nilsson and Anders Wadeskog has for more than 10 years, made research, calculations and presented reports showing that any person caught in the lifelong exclusion in addition to the human suffering generates costs of 1-1.5 million euros per year in the form of welfare costs such as medical care, and rehabilitation, efforts of the judiciary yet excluding production losses. Per cohort will be a cost of 21 billion euros. In five cohorts there will be as much as all of Sweden’s national debt!

The EU defines early dropouts from school (the main reason for exclusion as problematic) if it is above 10%. If we triple that, we begin to approach the situation in Malta which tops Europe. In terms of 16-19 year olds Malta is around 50%. What this cost may Nilsson / Wade forestry computational tools provide a hint.

One of the biggest problems is that students in Malta do not cope English to the extent that they are able to pursue subjects / courses taught in English at a higher level of education or even in secondaryschools. Another problem is that those who are more artistic or engineering gifted and those who perform better with the help of computer fall outside schools narrow academic frameworks as practical topics are deeply underrated and computers is almost unheard of in the classroom even if they have Active boards (without knowing how to make very useful). A tool who can cope with anything from develop math skills to translation and challenge each students level.

Research and experience show that different individuals have different learning styles. The more active lessons, the more senses involved, which means that more students are not only able to bring in knowledge but manages to keep it longer than for a test. Approximately 75% of a spoken lecture we usually have forgotten 3 hours later. After 3 days we have forgotten another 10-15%. When it comes to reading we remember 10 %. If we write, by hand or computer we will remember about 70%. In lessons which we both see and hear at the same time, we will remember about 50 %. When student practice their knowledge by themselves, reflecting and presenting it as a self-made presentation, a play, case studies, etc, they will remember 90 % (Edward Dale) yet still consist school mostly to just sit still and listening or reading, school sport are lame and hardly no breaks or healthy food.

When it comes to then apply what we have learned in school into working life is
5- 10% of what we learned in school applicable. Schools that gets higher performance, 80-90% are schools where students are coaching to learn how to search and find relevant facts, methods and tools to examine this to come up with solutions instead of serving ready-made answers. Yet it is the method schools use the least, and instead of real student-parents and staff influence hepatic school in its own enclosed hierarchical world way too far from the reality that we have around us. We no longer live in an English empire and the methods that were based on fear has little to do with the conditions our brain needs to learn. In fact stress and fear close the part of our brain that learn.

To go from passive learning to active learning requires no more resources just a trust in that students are willing and able to take responsibility for their own learning and the courage to consciously and responsibly introduce technology that some students may know more about than the adults. This is particularly evident Sugata Mitra’s, professor of educational technology experiment by experiment with children who didn´t speak english, had never had written on a computer or used a browser. Leaving this children living in a poor hood in the middle of nowhere in India with a computer with internet access, one month later they had learned both English and typing on the computer. After nine months, they had just as much knowledge as an ordinary secretary. To learn at a higher level, it was not as easy. With a coaching big sister at their side knowing nothing about computer or the DNA project they was given, the kids 12-year old managed to raise their skills by 50%. After that Sugata Mitra introduced SOLE – Self organized learning environment and encouraged adults to complimentary introduce the method wherever it was needed. Now there are lots of grannys in the internetcloud, ordinary grandmothers or retired school teachers who coach children who need help with school work online in the internetcloud.

Commitment and communication, but it really doesn´t matter what we say, because no one will still coping listen. And if they do, they have after three days lost 90%. With that it in our minds, why not open a pilotschool for 11 year olds where we create the conditions for the brain to learn. Breaks, healthy meals and positive feedback is as important as learning styles vary with active learning and creative processes. Where the goal is to show this and how we can reduce alienation by building schools based on students’ needs instead of trying to squeeze them into a school system that was built for entirely different conditions, were threats and punishment were necessary but extinguished the learning part of brain and all creative processes. Come on guys let´s start new projects in compulsaryschool with creative approaches! Let´s start making social investment fonds! Let´s pic up the students long before they dropout.

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