‘Teacher-less’ classrooms defy conventions of education

The World Government Summit in Dubai is held at the Madinat Jumeirah. (AFP)
Updated 11 February 2019
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‘Teacher-less’ classrooms defy conventions of education

  • A school in Bali has created a classroom with no walls, “which provides an incredible environment for growth”
  • Another one in Paris gathers students in “a building with no supervision”

DUBAI: Unconventional schooling models including classrooms with no teachers or walls are defying the conventions of education, the World Government Summit was told on Sunday.

A Bali school founded by Canadian entrepreneurs John and Cynthia Hardy are conducting lessons in classrooms made entirely of bamboo, utilizing the impact of nature and environment in the students’ education.

“Green School is like no other. It has no walls, and the children are happy. This provides an incredible environment for growth,” John Hardy said, adding how “giving children freedom from boundaries teaches them to solve problems and think critically in ways we had never imagined possible.”

Another school with an unconventional model is Ecole 42 in Paris, where students work in “a building with no supervision.”

“Learning by rote is dangerous and makes you stupid. Information is freely available on the internet. What we need in today’s world is the ability to create new stuff out of this knowledge by working together,” said founder Nicolas Sadirac who initially designed the program for poor children and school dropouts.

“It’s all about creating a safe place, and then providing an environment of trust. It helps to gamify the experience to make it fun. Then you step aside and watch the kids flourish,” Sadirac added.

Both models were presented to a group of educators attending the World Government Summit in Dubai, where a session about the future of education was organized.

“You are going to have to change your old thinking,” a clinical psychologist said at the end of the session.


Hugh Jackman reveals Global Teacher Prize finalists ahead of Dubai ceremony

Updated 21 February 2019
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Hugh Jackman reveals Global Teacher Prize finalists ahead of Dubai ceremony

  • The awards ceremony will take place on March 24
  • Out of 10,000 nominations from 39 countries, 10 finalists were chosen

DUBAI: Hollywood A-lister Hugh Jackman has lauded teachers as the “real superheroes” ahead of the  million-dollar Global Teacher Prize ceremony to be held in Dubai next month.

Speaking in a four-minute long video message, the actor revealed the 10 finalists who will be up for the prize on March 24.

Recalling his own experience, Wolverine star Jackman spoke of his “transformative” experience with his acting teacher.

Hugh Jackman and his acting teacher. (Supplied)

And he described the teaching profession as “the most important job in the world.”

“My favorite uncle was a teacher, my sister’s a teacher, my brother’s a teacher… My hope for every single person on the planet is that you have at least one,” he said.

“All of us go through insecurity and doubt, trepidation, along this journey of life, and those teachers that see the best in us and are patient enough to allow us to grow into that, they are like gold,” he added.

Out of 10,000 nominations from 39 countries, 10 finalists were chosen, including teachers from the UK, India, Japan, and Kenya.

The Dubai-based Global Teacher Prize was set up by global education charity Varkey Foundation to recognize one teacher “who made an outstanding contribution to the profession as well as to shine a spotlight on the important role teachers play in society.”

“I hope their stories will inspire those looking to enter the teaching profession and also shine a powerful spotlight on the incredible work teachers do all over the world every day,” said Sunny Varkey, the founder of the Varkey Foundation.

The winner will be announced at the “Global Education & Skills Forum” on March 24.

On the eve of the forum, chart toppers Little Mix, Liam Payne, and Rita Ora will perform at the Dubai Media City Amphitheater in a tribute concert organized by the foundation.

Here's the video announcement: