Sra Pou Vocational School, Cambodia. The school for building community
Located in Sra Pou village, this all-ages school
was built by locals to help members of the community learn how to develop good business acumen and become self-sufficient.
Rather than encouraging its students to find a job working for someone else, the school – made out of local materials by the local workforce – helps them learn how to value and price their homemade goods so they can sell them to people in their area.
When it's not in use as a school, the building serves as a town hall for democratic decision making and community meetings.
Ørestad Gymnasium. Copenhagen, Denmark. The school in a cube
In Australia, the trend towards open collaborative learning spaces is clear, but this Danish school takes the concept one step further.
Despite its name, Ørestad Gymnasium
takes the form of a giant cube in which the school’s 358 students sit and learn together. While the school’s curriculum accommodates media, communications, and globalisation studies, it is also a regular high school for everybody else.
In 2012, Germany’s edition of the Financial Times
rated the school as one of the most modernised in Europe.
Egalia Pre-school. Stockholm, Sweden. The school without gender.
Move over Respectful Relationships classes. This Swedish school takes the cake when it comes to teaching students about tolerance and equality.
Egalia Pre-school is founded on total equality between students. The system is made up of two schools,
Egalia and Nicolaigården, both of which reject gender-based pronouns in the hopes of grooming kids to think of one another on equal terms.
Careful not to exclude any groups within its communities, most of the children's books include homosexual couples, single parents or adopted children.
To help avoid gender bias, the school’s 33 students are encouraged to avoid using the words 'he' and 'she' when referring to one another. Instead, children are encouraged to call one another by their first name, or use ‘they’.
P-TECH High School, New York. Bridging high school and college
Launched in 2011 by tech giant IBM, P-Tech High School was created as a way to bridge the gap between school and college for New York’s teenagers. Going to P-Tech means that the usual four-year track to college is shortened to just two.
“P-TECH is transforming high school,” IBM's Stanley Litow, key architect of the P-TECH model, told Tech Insider
“This offers students 'a clear pathway from school to career, giving young people options that they could not imagine, and directly advancing the nation's economy.”
In April, former Prime Minister Tony Abbott, after completing a tour of this campus, announced that corporate-sponsored vocational schools would soon be a reality here in Australia.
The schools are expected to open in the Victorian towns of Ballarat and Geelong next year.
A larger list of innovative schools from around the world can be found here
The September/October issue of The Educator is out now. The latest issue includes our inaugural list of Australia’s most innovative schools
As the world changes, some schools have found ways to not just adapt but also to shake things up when it comes to how they prepare their students for the world they’re about to enter.