In urban areas, the concept of “School Without Walls” was born to encourage students to “use the city as a classroom”. “It’s a good thing because you can see the real thing,” says a 9-year-old about it. “We learn what is around us.”
In Argentina, like in other parts of South America, the governments developed radio broadcasting programmes for students. Each lesson is attended by a teacher and a conductor (journalist, artist, scientist). Timings are communicated in advance, and the schedule allows time for open air activities, so that none of the students misses out on lessons or playing outside.
In the Bermuda, the educational department provides updates through its social media, and its website. It does also deliver educational materials -where possible – comprising readings, worksheets and other required materials.
In Austria, school psychologists can be reached by telephone or e-maill. Psychological counselling is available during evening hours and weekends too, to support students and parents in need. There are also counselling services (in 23 different languages!) for people who do not speak German.
In conclusion there are many alternative spaces to classrooms (parks and gardens, woods, squares or courtyards have been set up with gazebos, canopies, tensile structures…); there are also many ways of teaching, respecting the Covid policies, without the need to spend hours in front of the computer screens or tablets.
These alternatives enrich experience and offer different point of views. And we have noticed that, contrary to what one would expect, being outdoors, and carrying out creative interdisciplinary activities, does not cause distraction in children but, on the contrary, sharpens their attention and concentration – because they find themselves in a favourable dimension, considerably more stimulating than the four walls of a classroom, or the flat insistence of a screen. In short, there are many benefits for children: less stress, greater psychophysical well-being, more knowledge and respect for the environment…
Let’s give children the opportunity to engage with activities that require not only physical contact with the world, but the creativity, patience and determination to obtain a good results. Let’s give children the opportunity to explore, create, grow.