Problem: To make school more similar to real life, Studio Schools develops projects for the community, in partnership with local companies. By participating in these challenges, students develop the abilities required to prosper in life, while also learning traditional cognitive disciplines. For this network of schools, current teaching methods fail to stimulate the talent and creativity of the young, which means that they have less chance of success in their personal and professional lives. These schools were organized by the Studio Schools Trust, which was created by Englishman David Nicoll in 2010. There are 36 units currently operating in England, with nine more under construction.
Solutions: As well as teaching the subjects and content demanded by the national curriculum, and testing students using traditional methods, this network of schools seeks to help students to develop socio-emotional skills such as empathy, collaboration, entrepreneurship and leadership. The curriculum is personalized according to the interests of each student, who are monitored by a tutor.
Part of the learning is done through projects, developed together with small and medium-sized companies in the city where the school/institution/organization is located. The idea is that the students know what is expected of them in today’s job market. Examples of the type of project that can be conducted include the design of health reports for a local hospital or promotional material for a local brand. The students also have the opportunity to participate in internships in these companies.
In the school, which has a maximum of 300 individuals enrolled, the students are encouraged to work as part of a team and collaborate. Classes are held from 9am to 5pm.
Outcomes: Students feel more motivated, more confident and more prepared to deal with challenges. They also acquire inter-personal abilities, such as empathy and communication, which are addressed in great detail throughout the course.