In many places around the world, education has become something to be endured. A new generation is learning to run a rat race where the main metrics of success are your résumé and your pay cheque – a generation less inclined to colour outside the lines, less inclined to dream or to dare, to fantasise or explore.
Can schools operate on a wholly different view of human nature? What if we give children much more freedom to play and learn on their own?
The thing that moved me the most while I was researching my latest book was visiting such a school in the Netherlands. This school, Agora, relies on the intrinsic motivation of the children. There are no classes or classrooms, no homework or grades, no tests, no timetables. There is almost no hierarchy within the staff. Often, there is no hierarchy at all – the students are the ones in charge.
‘What if we give children the freedom to play and learn on their own?’