‘Teacher-less’ classrooms defy conventions of education

The World Government Summit in Dubai is held at the Madinat Jumeirah. (AFP)
Updated 11 February 2019

‘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.


Australian man survives croc attack by gouging its eye

Updated 16 November 2019

Australian man survives croc attack by gouging its eye

  • Wildlife ranger Craig Dickmann made a split-second decision to go fishing in a remote part of Northern Australia known as ‘croc country.’
  • ‘That noise will haunt me forever I think, the sound of the snap of its jaws’

CAIRNS, Australia: An Australian wildlife ranger has recounted his terrifying escape from the clutches of a “particularly cunning” crocodile, after wrestling with the reptile and sticking a finger in its eye.
Craig Dickmann, who made a split-second decision to go fishing last Sunday in a remote part of Northern Australia known as “croc country” last Sunday, said a 2.8-meter (nine-foot) crocodile came up from behind him as he was leaving the beach.
“As I’ve turned to go, the first thing I see is its head just come at me,” he told reporters on Friday from his hospital bed in the town of Cairns in Queensland state.
Dickmann said the animal latched on to his thigh.
“That noise will haunt me forever I think, the sound of the snap of its jaws,” he said.
The 54-year-old said he wrestled with the croc on the remote beach as it tried to drag him into the water.
Dickmann stuck his thumb into its eye, saying it was the only “soft spot” he found on the “bullet-proof” animal.
“Their eyes retract a fair way and when you go down far enough you can feel bone so I pushed as far as I possibly could and then it let go at that point,” Dickmann said.
After a few minutes, he said he managed to get on top of the croc and pin its jaws shut.
“And then, I think both the croc and I had a moment where we’re going, ‘well, what do we do now?’”
Dickmann said he then pushed the croc away from him and it slid back into the water.
The ranger had skin ripped from his hands and legs in the ordeal and drove more than 45 minutes back to his home before calling emergency services.
It was then another hour in the car to meet the Royal Flying Doctors Service who flew him to Cairns Hospital, where he is recovering from the ordeal.
“This croc was particularly cunning and particularly devious,” he said.
Queensland’s department of environment this week euthanized the animal.
“The area is known croc country and people in the area are reminded to always be crocwise,” the department said in a statement.
Saltwater crocodiles, which can grow up to seven meters long and weigh more than a ton, are common in the vast continent’s tropical north.
Their numbers have exploded since they were declared a protected species in the 1970s, with attacks on humans rare.
According to the state government, the last non-fatal attack was in January 2018 in the Torres Strait while the last death was in October 2017 in Port Douglas.