Friday, October 27, 2006

I really wish I could have gone to a high school like Future School

Future School: Today I did a presentation on feature animation to the students at the Future School. Future school? you say. What the heck is Future School? Well, here in Auroville, they have some specific ideas about education. "The Mother" was very clear about what she considered the ideal in education: No grades, no tests, etc. Many people here take that stuff very seriously. So, the Mothers Will, it was. As a result, the first school here is actually called Last School, as in, it is a last school you'll ever need. (You are then expected to teach yourself). The former school here for high school aged kids is called Transition School. It's a place where students can direct their own education. Things are not very structured there. Unfortunately, it also does not provide any kind of certification for students who want to go on to university, etc.
As a result, many kids were leaving Auroville for private schooling around age 13. ( or just slacking at Transition school. ) A couple of Aurovillians recognized the need for something new since the Future School / Transition School experiment didn't seem to be working. Future School was born.At Future School, students can earn "O" and "A" levels in what is a more structured environment compared to Transition School. Compared to any regular western school the environment is extremely flexible, though. The first thing I learned about Future school that blew my mind was the teacher student ratio. There are 54 students and something like 32 teachers. As a result many courses are more like tutoring sessions than "classes". The school also promotes a mentoring program where students may pick a mentor to help guide them.
OK, enough about the school. How did the presentation go? I would say quite well. The students were attentive and thoughtful in their questions. I managed to cover the concepts of pre-production and the various steps of production in 3D animation. I even had time to talk about the steps of "traditional" (i.e. hand drawn 2D) animation for some students that showed interest. At the end I covered the various paths one could take to get into the business. (There are many!) I also made sure to tall the kids how lucky they are to have such an awesome school. I really wish I could have gone to a high school like Future School. It's more like having a team of personal tutors than a regular school. How could any even semi-motivated student go wrong in such an environment? Posted by lordtangent at 4:59 AM Friday, October 27, 2006 Labels: , Links Auroville Auroville Earth Institute Auroville Business

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