Is Lumiar the future of education?


I’m taking the family on a road trip next week. We’re going to visit a school called Lumiar near Ramsgate in Kent. It looks awesome.

I first came across Lumiar through an inspirational TED talk by its founder, Ricardo Semler. Since then, I’ve lost track of the number of people that I’ve shared the link with and told them how they should watch it (if you haven’t seen it, you should – it’s inspirational).

The Lumiar curriculum is rooted in project-based learning. Students learn in groups and work on projects that are all mapped against the national curriculum. It seems to tick all the boxes. It’s exciting, practical, relevant, and absolutely not about teaching to the test. So what’s the catch? Well, hopefully there isn’t one – but I should have a clearer idea after the visit next week.

What I also find interesting is how much I feel as though I’m experimenting with my children’s lives. It would be so easy to just put them into normal education, but given that my background is in creative education I feel that I should at least try and practice what I preach. I can’t pretend to be an expert on compulsory education, but working in university certainly opens your eyes to the fact that many kids come out of school with no love of learning.

I guess there’s a danger of being overly influenced by good old Sir Ken Robinson’s widely-viewed talk on whether schools kill creativity. But I have to believe that there is a better alternative to the current approach to mass education. One that really prepares kids for work in the 21st century. And one where teaching isn’t just separated out into subject areas, but is truly interdisciplinary by focusing on bringing disciplines and bodies of knowledge together.

I think this is what Michael A. Peters and Petar Jandrić are talking about with the idea of a ‘postdigital curriculum’. Hopefully I’ll have a clearer idea by the end of next week.

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