Centers of Excellence

The Centers of Excellence are both learning and profit centers at the School. The Centers can have different themes or focuses, depending on the region in which the school is based. In a country where tourism plays a major role, for example, a Center for Culture Sensitive Tourism could include capacity for guest and conference operations, which have the potential to provide significant contribution to the monthly budget to the school. At the same time, if the program is successful, it has the potential to make a meaningful impact in encouraging the development of culturally sensitive travel.

The Centers of Excellence follow the motto “turn a problem into a business idea”. They are focused on the turning of innovative business ideas into entrepreneurial designs and answering the question “who wants to be the entrepreneur?” Centers of Excellence may also be operated in the form of tandem-leadership, where one leader sets out the entrepreneurial challenges, while the other takes the chance to incorporate the development of an individual curriculum which embraces and complements the national curriculum.

The coffee project – students learn how to become coffee entrepreneurs (School for Life Chiang Mai)

Turn a problem into a business idea – who wants to be the entrepreneur?

Possible Centers for Excellence are:

  • Center for Nutrition & Health
  • Center for Organic Farming
  • Center for Body & Soul
  • Center for Cultural Heritage & Development
  • Center for Culture Sensitive Tourism
  • Center for Technology, Crafts & Ecology
  • Center for International Communication

Learning in Projects

The School for Life promotes learning in projects. The project as a pedagogical method was developed by John Dewey and William Heard Kilpatrick. In the Dewey / Kilpatrick sense, something becomes a project if it stems from a real problem and contributes to its solution. A project is not designed just to illustrate the material of the curriculum. Children are invited to participate in the curriculum development by mind mapping. Curricular maps are drawn up with stations for particular learning interests.

Mind mapping means agreeing with the children, based on the maps which represent the learning interests they expressed, on priorities and paths.

Mini Enterprises are small projects which are a specific expression of life-related learning. Here, children learn the first steps to being entrepreneurially active in a playful manner, even if it is initially only within the market of the School for Life.