14 september 2011

A Sparkling Dream School

This November Marcel Kampman is a speaker at TEDxDelft. His TED-talk will be about Project Dreamschool, of which he is the founder and creative organizer. Project Dreamschool is based on the ambitious dream to create the best school of the Netherlands (or maybe even of the world!). As I found this idea so intriguing, I performed an online search to learn what this project is all about. 

How it all started
The project started when Marcel Kampman met Peter Visser, a school principal of the secondary school Stad en Esch in Meppel. Peter Visser told Marcel that he wanted to build a new school in which personally customized education for secondary school kids is possible. Marcel Kampman (who also lives in Meppel) became intrigued by Peter and his visionary ideas and he decided to help him to achieve this amazing goal; the creation of a dream school before 2014.

'Dream school ingredients'
Aspects that need to be thought through, discussed about, and decided upon to create a dream school are various and range from large-scale elements to small details. First of all, you have to consider how education will take place, which methods should be used, what will the curriculum look like and what is the role of the teachers. Specifally, how do you build a school system around the uniqueness of each child with his/her own needs and dreams. Then there is the building, what will it look like and where should it be build. Other aspects to consider are for example the role of technology, computers, sports, music, creativity, play and games, etcetera. And you can probably think of many more features to add to this roughly sketched list of aspects to reflect upon.

Time for the Kick Off!
To get the project up and running, a kick-of meeting was organized (april 2010). In this gathering 22 people from different backgrounds joined; among which were education professionals, designers, strategists, representatives from from the city of Meppel, teachers, students, and parents. And also Sir Ken Robinson joined the discussion via Skype! Here you can read a report of this successful meeting and view some pictures. Also, below you can view a video impression.

Accomplished until now.
Here is what I found in my online search on the progress of Project Dreamschool. A Project Dreamschool website was launched in English and in Dutch where everybody can post their ideas on what a dream school is on colorful post-it notes. Also school cahier journals made from recycled paper are now available. To me this seems, however, a bit of a detail to take care of when you are creating an entire dream school? But hey, when you are creating ideas and brainstorming you need paper to document, right? ;-) 

Further Marcel Kampman gave a talk about Project Dreamschool on the Lift Conference 2011. Interesting in this talk is the concept of ‘the dream gap’. When children go to school at age of 4 years their creativity level is 98% and all their choices and dreams about what they want to become and want to do in life are still open. When they become 22 years old and finish their studies only 2% of creativity is left and because so many choices had to be made in the current educational system a lot of career paths have been limited. This is called the education waterfall. Essentially the space between the full potential and the waterfall is called the dream gap, which Project Dreamschool obtains to close. Below you can watch the Lift-Talk of Marcel Kampman. 

What are your ideas?
So, what are your ideas? What is your dream school? Would you prefer a transparent school building with large glass windows? Do you want music and drama to have a more prominent place in the curriculum? Would you want to be a teacher or student of the future dream school? Do you have inspirational ideas on learning methods that should be used or how the canteen should look like and what food & drinks should be served? And what about children with special needs or contacts with educational psychologists or other specialists? Leave a message on this blog, write it on a post-it on the dreamschool website, or register for TEDxDelft talk and join the TED-talk of Marcel Kampman! 

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