The Educator issue 2.01

Page 45

Ørestad Gymnasium, Denmark

P-TECH High School, US

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 each other. Instead, children are encouraged to call one another by their first names, or use ‘they’. Egalia Pre-school, Sweden

Fontan College also caters for students who are academically ahead of their peers and anxious to get into the real world. Depending on students’ distribution of time and discipline, they can graduate in less time than they would in a traditional school.

Ørestad Gymnasium, Copenhagen, Denmark: The school in a cube The trend towards open collaborative learning spaces is clear, but this Danish school takes the concept to a new level. The Ørestad Gymnasium was created to nourish its pedagogy – aiming to provide its students with “a flexible and structured use” of different learning environments. The school’s building was designed as an open space where all activities are visible to students and staff in order to improve communication and provide inspiration. Despite its name, Ørestad Gymnasium takes the form of a giant cube in which the

school’s 358 students, aged 16–19, sit and learn together. According to its website, the project was based on “a visionary interpretation of openness and flexibility” regarding class sizes and assemblies. While the school’s curriculum includes regular classes, it also recognises the demands of the 21st century workforce, offering classes in media, communications, and globalisation studies for students. In 2012, Germany’s edition of the Financial Times rated the school as one of the most modern 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 among students. The system is made

P-TECH High School, New York, US: Bridging high school and college Launched in 2011 by tech giant IBM, P-TECH (Pathways in Technology) High School was created as a way to bridge the gap between school and college for New York’s teenagers. Attending P-TECH means that the usual fouryear 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. Schools reflecting the Australian version of P-TECH schools are expected to open in the Victorian towns of Ballarat and Geelong this year.

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