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An environment to create empowered learners

Today we visited Brooklyn New School (BNS). A very large school of about 600 students. The school is situated in the same building as the middle/high school. They also consist of about 600 students. So when children graduate primary school they can choose to continue their education in the same building, but on a different floor. The BNS is a highly sought after school. The concept of BNS is to form an environment that creates empowered learners. An important item for that is diversity. The BNS used to make three groups of ethnicity (Black, Spanish or other) that they choose an equal amount of new pupils from, but they had to change that. Now they have a lottery system in which they have a bit of leeway by putting aside a few spaces for lower income families.

After the introduction by the school principal we were divided into smaller groups and were assigned three tour guides. Three 5th grade student gave us a tour around the school. They thought they could do a quick look around but were pleasantly surprised that we actually wanted to look around and asked questions. We’ve learned that a lot of classes were learning about the Dutch colonization and the DWIC (Dutch West Indian trading Company). There were posters with old-school Dutch buildings, Dutch words and of course info graphs about the slave trade. When the teachers learned that we are Dutch they asked us to pronounce some Dutch words and we even sung Vader Jacob for them. Our tour guides really wanted us to see the outside (they had their own vegetable garden and even some chickens!) and the library. The library was amazing. There are a lot of books in every classroom, but this library was huge!

We were welcomed in every room. Didn’t matter if it was a classroom or an office. We even saw a room for children to just talk about their feelings (either on appointment or unscheduled) or a classroom just for the kids that have special needs. The cafeteria was for every student in the building so they eat in shifts. Behind the cafeteria is the auditorium where they perform musicals and such. The school organizes party’s for the kids every weekend. Like a movie party. The hallways are littered with art, posters, statues and such all created by the kids. You could easily see what it was that they learned. I can certainly see how they form an environment that creates empowered learners.

Recommend0 recommendationsPublished in Reis2024

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2 reacties

  1. Zo, jij hebt goed rondgekeken op die school. Als ik dat zo lees denk ik aan School as a community. Of waren ook nog andere CES principes die op de BNS de boventoon voerden?
    Veel plezier en inspiratie toegewenst tijdens je laatste scholenbezoek vandaag.

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