Curriculum development is based on the state curriculum and adapted and organised in a way that is designed to provide the most meaningful long-term outcomes for the students, based on the School for Life concepts.
In many countries the national curriculum leaves room for the development of a separate curriculum. The School for Life takes the opportunity to influence the curriculum through something it calls the ‘approach of situation’ (or, Situational Approach). The curriculum of the School for Life will be structured according to key problems and carried out in the form of projects and mini enterprises.
In terms of curriculum, there are two opposing systems of reference: one is a curriculum structured into subjects, the other a curriculum structured according to generative themes. In the case of the School for Life, the national curriculum represents the one side, while the other side is represented by a curriculum which is based on key issues and contents of the Centers of Excellence.
There is a special art in this approach in terms of moving parts of the national curriculum into the Centers of Excellence, and integrating them into projects which allocate credit points to students for their work in the centers. In this way, the work taking place in the centers represents content from the national curriculum, plus additional learning opportunities for students.
Bridges between the subjects and real-life problems can be built more easily if the school develops a preference for discovery-based, action-oriented learning. In contrast to purely academic schools, the School for Life is primarily concerned with the matter of learning in the classroom to cope with real problems rather than artificial problems. The trick is to create challenging realities, settings that are demanding and yet manageable, where there is no other option for the students than to learn – on their own accord – because the problem makes sense to them.
The School for Life Concept can be adapted to all levels of education starting with kindergarten and continuing to all levels of schooling. With the prerequisite of bilingualism from kindergarten onwards, it will be possible to offer the national exams and the International Baccalaureate. Another option is to expand vocational education for those who aren’t interested in, or suited to, a high school degree on the basis of their learning history. The alternative route for innovative thinkers is the start-up: the founding of one’s own company with the School for Life as point of departure. Tuition is offered at the following levels:
- Primary School
- Junior High School
- Senior High School
- IB College (International Baccalaureate)
- Vocational Training / Entrepreneurship: Start-ups
In addition, the School for Life has the chance to develop a unified educational approach which stretches to university-level, based on the principles of the Situational Approach and by avoiding ruptures between the steps on the educational path. The aim could be to develop a program of “Entrepreneurship” in cooperation with a university which allows a Bachelor and a Master’s degree – the latter is possible if parallel to their studies, the student establishes a company that meets not only economic but also social and environmental criteria.
National and International Degrees
Parallel to the national education system is the opportunity to set up and to interlink a branch of an international school. The national curriculum is supplemented by an international curriculum, and wherever possible, the subjects are related to each other. The languages of instruction are then the national language, as well as English.
In the last two classes (11 and 12), an International Baccalaureate-college is established for students who aspire to completion of the International Baccalaureate.
Since the language of instruction is English only in this case, inclusion in this College requires specific language skills. To keep the options open for all students, bilingual education is practiced from kindergarten onwards, with the aim of helping students to eventually speak English almost as well as their mother tongue. The bilingual focus of the school does not exclude the teaching of an additional, third language.