News-in-Transition

2 February 2017

 - It is a disappointing thing to see new playgrounds developed in city spaces sit there empty each day, or to walk in the park and hear no laughter. What is missing here is not the children per se, but materials and environments that create challenge, imagination, and creativity that make children want to play outdoors. The absence of such play environments is not only influencing the quantity and quality of children’s play, but also affecting children’s health and well-being.

As adults, we need to support children in learning to enjoy what unstructured free play in the outdoors has to offer. We need to inspire imaginations, creative minds, and capable bodies. To do this, we can look toward two simple things: nature and adventure.

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25 January 2017

 - While many adults are currently looking at how to grow their own food, the future may already be in front of our eyes: One school aims to teach kids how to grown their own food as part of a nursery!

A few clever Italians have come up with an amazing proposal, and their design of an innovative nursery school just won them the AWR International Ideas Competition award. Their project, titled “Nursery Fields Forever,” reimagines what nurseries and daycares might look like if their core, central concept was farming and sustainable agriculture.

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13 November 2016

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 - Finland’s education system is considered one of the best in the world. In international ratings, it’s always in the top ten. However, the authorities there aren’t ready to rest on their laurels, and they’ve decided to carry through a real revolution in their school system.

Finnish officials want to remove school subjects from the curriculum. There will no longer be any classes in physics, math, literature, history, or geography.

Instead of individual subjects, students will study events and phenomena in an interdisciplinary format. For example, the Second World War will be examined from the perspective of history, geography, and math. And by taking the course ”Working in a Cafe,” students will absorb a whole body of knowledge about the English language, economics, and communication skills.

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1 March 2016

 - A new preschool is teaching children gardening and urban farming, and many of their classes are hands-on, working on an actual farm.

Edoardo Capuzzo Dolcetta and a team of other designers have been working to bring children closer to nature during their studies and teach them skills that they will actually need in the real world.

“We think that kids should enjoy nature. So we designed this strange school: No classrooms, but open spaces where vegetables grow inside and animals can come in too. It’s a mixing of the two things, school and nature,” Dolcetta said.

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27 June 2014

- A group of teachers in Seattle is denouncing education reform measures they say have been an attack on public education and let corporate interests and high-stakes testing trump real student learning.

The target of their protest: The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, whom the teachers say has used its monetary power to push corporate reforms and is symbolic of measures—like Common Core Standards and over-testing—that don't let educators be the decision makers of education policies.

Gates has been pushing "magical, silver bullets" to solve problems in education but leave them "unable to be critical thinkers, problem solvers, and not at all certain where they fit in the world."

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11 September 2013

 - Opposing infringement on parental control of education and promoting alternatives to government-run schools is a vital task for the liberty movement. When government usurps a parent’s right to control their child's education, it is inevitable that the child will be taught the values of government officials, rather than of the parents.

The result is an education system with a built-in bias toward statism. Over time, government-controlled education can erode the people’s knowledge of, and appreciation for, the benefits of a free society.

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20 July 2013

 - A family in Alabama sent their six oldest home-schooled children to college by the age of 12, and are also planning to send the remaining four children, who are ten and under, to college early.

The Harding children insist they are not geniuses. Instead, they credit their achievements to home-schooling, as well as a concentrated focus on their passions, which their parents taught them to hone in on from an early age.

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9 July 2013

 - People are not being educated; they're being tested for levels of obedience. School is about memorizing what you are told short term and repeating it. The bulk of how you are graded is by completing daily work. Obedience is, in fact, the work force's most important quality in a worker bee.

“School is the advertising agency which makes you believe that you need the society as it is.” -Ivan Illich

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14 September 2012

 - The tiny Nordic nation has a staggering record of education success, a phenomenon that has inspired, baffled and even irked many of America’s parents and educators.

“Whatever it takes” is an attitude that drives Finland’s educators. Many schools are small enough so that teachers know every student. If one method fails, teachers consult with colleagues to try something else. They seem to relish the challenges.

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