‘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.


Drunk on smoke: Notre Dame’s bees survive cathedral blaze

Updated 44 min 42 sec ago
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Drunk on smoke: Notre Dame’s bees survive cathedral blaze

PARIS: Hunkered down in their hives and drunk on smoke, Notre Dame’s smallest official residents — some 180,000 bees — somehow managed to survive the inferno that consumed the cathedral’s ancient wooden roof.
Confounding officials who thought they had perished, the bees clung to life, protecting their queen.
“It’s a big day. I am so relieved. I saw satellite photos that showed the three hives didn’t burn,” Notre Dame beekeeper Nicolas Geant told The Associated Press on Friday.
“Instead of killing them, the CO2 (from smoke) makes them drunk, puts them to sleep,” he explained.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Beeopic (@beeopic) on


Geant has overseen the bees since 2013, when three hives were installed on the roof of the stone sacristy that joins the south end of the monument. The move was part of a Paris-wide initiative to boost declining bee numbers. Hives were also introduced above Paris’ gilded Opera.
The cathedral’s hives were lower than Notre Dame’s main roof and the 19th-century spire that burned and collapsed during Monday evening’s fire.
Since bees don’t have lungs, they can’t die from smoke inhalation — but they can die from excessive heat. European bees, unlike some bee species elsewhere, don’t abandon their hives when facing danger.
“When bees sense fire, they gorge themselves on honey and stay to protect their queen, who doesn’t move,” Geant said. “I saw how big the flames were, so I immediately thought it was going to kill the bees. Even though they were 30 meters (nearly 100 feet) lower than the top roof, the wax in the hives melts at 63 degrees Celsius (145.4 Fahrenheit).”

Notre Dame Cathedral’s three beehives — home to more than 180,000 bees  — survived the destructive fire. (Instagram/Beeopic)

If the wax that protects their hive melts, the bees simply die inside, Geant explained.
Smoke, on the other hand, is innocuous. Beekeepers regularly smoke out the hives to sedate the colony whenever they need access inside. The hives produce around 75 kilograms (165 pounds) of honey annually, which is sold to Notre Dame employees.
Notre Dame officials saw the bees on top of the sacristy Friday, buzzing in and out of their hives.
“I wouldn’t call it a miracle, but I’m very, very happy,” Geant added.