We don’t need to change everything in Education, just a few easy things.

When we think of how outdated today’s Education system is, we could easily apply the 20/80 rule as the first action of change to improve it. Let’s not even discuss Curriculum content but rather the whole concept of school and how it functions today, which is exactly the same as it did over 100 years ago. Although nothing else we do today is the same, the way we teach remains the same and this is the first problem we need to resolve if we want to develop students who will be prepared today for tomorrow.

BGA decided to use today’s available Technology and Common Sense to upgrade schooling. We upgraded the experience a student can have in order to make it more enjoyable, engaging, and a valuable experience for life. Why it isn’t happening faster mainstream, is in my view down to tradition, being stuck in a comfort zone, and a lack of urgency by our educational leaders. They have been doing things in a certain way for such a long time and don’t want to change, fearful that the necessary change would make things uncomfortable for educators and even for some parents. However, the students would flourish and thrive if the change was implemented at all levels of education.

At BGA, students are our main focus and the rest is simply supporting structures for the students. I often wondered how we could make education better by using the resources available. I am not a dreamer and totally understand that I would not be able to do a total revamp of the education system as it currently exists, but I am a realist that understands that with a good team who are driven by purpose and using today’s tools, we can definitely improve on what is currently the unacceptable norm.

I often refer to my “Tesla” analogy when asked how my Brave Generation Academy teaching method compares to that of traditional schooling. It would be like asking Tesla what is their track record for diesel or petrol engines? We don’t know and frankly don’t really care as we’re focused on the future and don’t rely on past results.
At BGA, we don’t get held up by traditions, past glories, or comfortable metrics of how we have always done it, but rather, we work on providing individual education today which benefits our students for life by asking why’s and how’s we can keep improving.

We understand all students are different and want to learn different things at a different pace. We, therefore, developed and partnered with learning platforms that allow our students to select subjects from a wider variety of options that traditional schools are unable to offer due to teacher limitations, resources, and classroom sizes. Our students can mix and match subjects and can also go at their own pace, thereby understanding lessons better and never falling behind or getting bored as they wait for others.

Due to our 12 to 18 mixed-age approach at our physical BGA Hubs, we’re able to achieve an environment of peer-to-peer learning, where the students learn by research and interaction. Our specially trained learning coaches are there to support and guide the student through this learning process.
Peer to Peer learning results in the development of empathy, teamwork, and overall more well-being as students quickly realize that they are not competing with each other, but rather, are each part of collective learning support to each other.

The flexibility of the BGA learning platforms, offers our students the possibility of following their interests or passions, be it sports, music, or art. They are able to improve and are more dedicated to interests they really enjoy doing, while still pursuing their academic curriculum at their own pace. The learning coaches are able to provide more mentorship in the direction that their interests and talents lead them, thereby improving their skills in these areas. They are able to incorporate internships at local companies or businesses thereby obtaining new skills and experiences for life.

Our students also inspire other students to try out new experiences thereby driving the learning process in a peer-to-peer manner. Students who play a musical instrument or others who play sports inspire fellow students to give it a go as well and maybe they enjoy the experience. Students with special interests expose fellow students to a new world of experiences. BGA allows students to lead and become experts in certain skills as they have the time and motivation to enhance these skills.

BGA contributes to healthier bodies, but without doubt, even more so to healthier minds. Our teaching model reduces anxiety and depression as results and timelines are more manageable and flexible. Our students can choose when to write their exams, with two different examination periods available, they are able to time manage their academic, sports, other interests timetables in a flexible manner. We bring life balance to our students, something which is so important to young adults. We allow our students to be self-driven as they choose their responsibility levels and normally flourish by experiencing this for the first time at the school level.

There are many other advantages that we have been able to incorporate even by not changing everything in education but rather by adapting technology and common sense to the mix. Holidays are taken when you want, school hours are according to your chosen timetable and life is just a lot more enjoyable and not a punishment for no reason at all.

So is BGA perfect?
I will be the first one to say NO and to acknowledge that we will make mistakes along the way, but we will learn from them and change accordingly.

Are traditional Schools perfect?
Definitely not, but the issue is that they keep repeating mistakes and keep resisting change and have a long track record to prove it.

Elon Musk said, “It’s easier to land a man on Mars than to change the Schooling system”….. I personally feel that it’s more important to change Schooling than to land a man on Mars as we all depend on the success of Schooling.

BGA is changing the world one student at a time …… if parents are Brave enough to allow us.

September 20, 2021, Cascais

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