At Edopia, we can take a break to feel the wind on our face, bask in the sunshine and hear the cuckoo bird. Or we can work tirelessly to come up with engineering solutions for the energy crisis. Our day is our own canvas.
No one is an exemplary Edopian
Here an individual’s freedom is valued. Every child is allowed to develop into the person he would want to be, at his own pace. The child is allowed to tread on his own path to self-actualization.
Learning at Edopia
At Edopia, it is believed that learning takes place best when it is connected to the needs and preferences of a child. A child is not always a passive recipient of knowledge. They co-construct meaning with their peers and mentors. The Edopian classroom is a dynamic place, with the students moving from group work to individual work in response to their needs and the needs of the inquiries to which they have committed.
Edopia offers a range of foundational and optional classes. To augment classroom learning, the school uses adaptive software that allows children to learn at their own pace. Starting from the age of 6 and above, children are offered a wide range of electives to choose from at the beginning of the semester. Children partake in these electives in multi-age learning environments and this allows every child to have a very unique daily schedule.
Periodically, children meet their mentors to reflect on their choices.
After-school classes and workshops are offered four days a week. The workshops are based on various life skills; coding, robotics, home economics, visual arts, and performing arts. The mix of classes and workshops on offer changes every semester.
Life skills & community engagement weeks
Every once in a while, we collapse our timetable to learn life skills and engage in community service.
Some examples of our LSCE week are given below.
Multi-age grouping is just one of the devices used to organize formal and informal learning at Edopia. Children are much more interested in other children than in adults. Children are drawn to older children, and older children are drawn to adolescents. Adulthood is too far off to be of much concern. That is why age-mixing is crucial to the self-education of children.
Making learning visible
At Edopia, making learning visible is a priority. Diagnostic tests help to identify learning gaps that require intervention. Daily observation of work and learning is the leading type of assessment. Teachers record anecdotes, voice clips, and video clips that allow individuals and groups to reflect on their learning. Our small student-to-teacher ratio guides this ‘‘Family Observation’ and formative feedback.
For foundation courses, we have summative and examinations. Rather than being an end to themselves, these tools guide future efforts.
Creating a culture of thinking
It is important to build a strong intellectual life around children through enculturation. What happens when we become aware of the cultural forces that are present in our existing learning spaces and leverage them to build a space where thinking is valued. By creating a culture of thinking, we value a group’s collective as well as individual thinking by making it visible and by promoting it. The cultural forces that are used as a tool in the process are time, modeling, language, environment, interactions, routines, opportunities, and expectations. Teachers employ the practice of visible listening to model the worth of a student's thoughts while gaining the information necessary to ask them good questions.
Documentation involves being curious about the student learning occurring, recording it with multiple media artifacts to act as a form of group memory, reflecting on the documentation, and sharing it publicly in order to build collective knowledge. Making time for thinking, using a language of thinking, and documenting the thinking processes are just some of the ways that teachers create cultures of thinking in their classrooms.
Role of an adult
We collaborate with parents as co-educators in meeting children’s needs. The role of the teacher is to facilitate connections between the student’s prior knowledge and the knowledge available through new experiences. The responsibility of teaching lies with the teacher. The responsibility for learning lies with the children. Teachers also act as mentors, guiding children in making better choices.
In an Edopian classroom, parents are welcomed as partners, with a clear role to play in supporting the community and their own children. Parents stay updated about the engagements at school via the school network.
Making choices in a community
Edopia is a living community in a community, all members have a voice from the youngest to the oldest. Their voice is heard and respected. Their rights and responsibilities are clear and they can speak about them. Children are allowed to experience the full range of feelings free from the judgment and intervention of an adult. Freedom to make decisions always involves risk and requires the possibility of negative outcomes. Apparently negative consequences such as boredom, stress, anger, disappointment, and failure are a necessary part of individual development.
The voice is heard in meetings. Some meetings are lead by adults, others by children. All meetings have a set structure that is followed.