Gone are rigid and scholastic teaching methods. Today many of the methods used in schools try to respect the learning pace of children and satisfy their interests. In fact, in both the private and public sectors, different educational systems are proliferating that move away from the traditional regime, many of which are focused on enhancing not only the cognitive development but also the social and emotional skills of children.
The Waldorf approach respects the maturing process of each child, while stimulating their intellect, artistic vocation and willpower. In these schools the bond between students and teachers is also promoted, as well as moral and human formation. In fact, teachers usually stay in the same group of students for 6 consecutive years, teaching the contents of the different subjects. Thus they get to know each of the students deeply.
It cannot be said that the Montessori method is a recent teaching alternative but it is attracting more and more interested parties. This system was created at the beginning of the 20th century, by the Italian Maria Montessori. In schools that follow this teaching system, children have complete freedom to guide their own learning process, according to their interests and needs. For this reason, it continues to be a method that completely revolutionizes the traditional conception of education.
Another of the most interesting characteristics of this teaching method can be seen in the Montessori-Palau school in Girona, in which children of different ages mix, according to their state of development. For example, with children between 0 and 3 years old, two groups are formed, taking into account whether they already walk or not yet. Then, the groups of children from 2 ½ to 6 years old are mixed, and so on. The idea is that students learn from their peers but also from older students.
Amara Berri Centers
Promoted by Loli Anaut since 1979, the Amara Berri centers are another example of new educational alternatives. This method believes that ” what is important is not what is learned but the person himself .” Under this motto, they make students the central nucleus of learning. For this reason, the Amara Berri centers do not have exams and indicate very few homework, allowing children to work at their own level and pace of learning.
Another of the fundamental pillars of this system is that the groups of students are structured with children of 2 different years. Consequently, one year the child adopts the role of small and allows himself to be guided, while the following year he assumes the role of older and guides the little ones.
The Amara Berri centers also offer specialized classes in specific subjects such as mathematics, languages, natural sciences … In turn, each class is divided into 4 areas of work of the same specialty, each with individual work methods. In this way, children can choose the work area that most interests them within each subject, although in the end they must rotate through all of them. The goal is for the student to feel motivated, even when learning the least engaging subjects.