An imaginary school

Some fifteen kids (that's the maximum allowed)
are running around in a large room barefoot
(they have left their shoes at the door), and
everyone is doing what he likes.

There are tables and chairs, but the children don't
like those things and they have pushed them aside.
Everything takes place on the floor.

One girl is lying face down on the floor painting
something that, judging by the colours, is a great
adventure in the frozen north.

Another is sitting on the floor with a xylophone, and is
hammering out her own original composition whose
melodic qualities only she is able to appreciate.

A third, sitting cross-legged like a fakir is threading
some colourful beads on a string. He is working
with great concentration because the order of the
colours hides a secret code of the utmost importance.

Further along, three others are working together on their knees.
They are building with wooden blocks something so strange and
unearthly that can only be a space station.

On the walls of the room there
are shelves full of toys.

Plastic dolls however and tin
robots have no place there.

There are solely planned games
designed by experts.

One inspires the imagination, another observation and understanding,
a third promotes co-operation as it can work only with the help of many
hands, a fourth demands such logical and synthetic thinking, that even
an adult would have great difficulty managing it.

The children choose the game they like, and play until they are tired
of it (and you know already how fast kids get bored), then they bring
it back to its place and take another.

When a child is very tired, which happens very rarely,
he lies down on the floor on his back and looks at the
ceiling until he is rested and can continue the game.

       Is there no teacher to keep them in order?

There is a teacher, but she sits in a corner, writing or reading
something and does not seem to be concerned about them.

After completing her Diploma in Education at the University
she has made special studies and knows how she should
behave, so the kids do not realize they are being observed
or guided.

The main objective is to let the child know himself, to find
his capabilities and to utilize them by his own free will.

This goal is not achievable if the teacher is
constantly standing over the child and saying:
"do this and leave that".

If you want to develop
free thinking, you have to
leave the thinking free.

In the classroom
(which only the Good Lord could call a classroom)
there are three or four other young ladies, assistant-
teachers in training.

They have also already graduated in Education Studies at the
University and parallel to their special training, they are getting
practical experience at school.

Thus, for every three or four kids there corresponds one teacher.

When that small girl cannot decide which
game to choose, the teacher or an assistant
comes "to help her pick out one together".

And lo and behold, as chance would have it, the game,
which they "found together" is just what strengthens his
decision-making ability.

And when another, who in no time at all and with one hand behind
his back can finish the games for which the others need hours, begins
to get bored and starts annoying the rest, the teacher comes "to help
him download a game from the top shelf".

Now, "by sheer chance" this game is one
of the sort which even an adult would have great
difficulties with, and the troublemaker will need
all his attention to succeed with this game.

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