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You may have seen the report by Michael Moore in which the American director seeks to understand why the Finnish education system is one of the best in the world.
Finnish children have the fewest hours of lessons, have almost no homework and are always invited to play. Despite everything, they occupy the first positions of international rankings in science, reading and mathematics.
The Finnish vision of education makes many dream of it. Among them, Kim Lascurettes took action and made her dream come true.
This ambitious young woman wanted to create a school that places children at the heart of their learning and allows them to develop in an appropriate environment, whatever their social, economic, psychological or cultural context. The Finnish education system was the one that best met its values. She therefore used it as a common thread while drawing inspiration from various so-called alternative teaching methods.
This is how the alternative elementary school La Boétie opened in Toulouse in September 2017. École branchée had the opportunity to meet with the director and founder of this brand new school.
The birth of a project
Kim Lascurettes' project was born from an observation that the school must be transformed. Overcrowded classes, too much bureaucracy and young people who are all trained on the same model. She wondered why the French system did not take into account the particularities of each student. She put herself in the shoes of a child, a middle school student and a high school student and imagined a school that would be learner-centered.
"It is we who adapt to the child as a whole and not the other way around, explains Kim Lascurettes," the child must be at the heart of the system while the interveners gravitate around it ".
The founder of La Boétie took less than a year to launch her project, a year during which she designed her educational program, created an association, applied for funding and recruited her team.
Open education: a day at school La Boétie
Currently at school La Boétie, These are seven children from the small section to CE2 who learn and evolve in a family environment. "The older ones can help the younger ones and that this enhances them", rejoices the director.
The students do one hour of English every day with their teacher who is bilingual. This is also supported by external speakers who run discovery workshops on computers, music, design and Chinese, but also on meditation and emotional intelligence.
Unlike most alternative schools, the school La Boétie follows the National Education program. It is in the way of teaching and learning that it stands out. The teacher indicates the program for the day, but it is the children who choose the material with which they want to learn. For example, they can do math with legos or with drawings. At the end of the day, the children report what they did on their schedule. For Kim Lascurettes, it is important to solicit the autonomy of the pupils in this way because “freedom first comes from autonomy”.
Where school La Boétie approaches the Finnish school, it is by the absence of assessments and homework. The founder prefers that the children spend time with their families. There are no punishments either. In conflicts, students come together to discuss and use nonviolent communication to find solutions. “We try to be as benevolent as possible,” explains Kim Lascurettes.
A vision for the future
In just a few months, the director and founder of the school La Boétie observes significant changes in his students. In particular, she notices that they gain autonomy, that they work better as a team, that they learn to live together and that they acquire greater self-confidence.
Even if she is very proud of the road traveled, Kim Lascurettes wants to do even more. She hopes that her school will grow so that more and more children can come out of it happy. She already has some registrations for her College project which will start in September 2018.
To learn more about the project of this visionary school principal who dared to question education, you can visit the School website La Boétie.