When Buckminster Fuller said "Our children are our elders in universe time", he meant that they are advanced versions of us, born in a future, more advanced time.
Should we not then expect to provide them with an education upgraded from our own?
Today Genius U posted this story about Angie Stead and Rustica Lamb, written by Kathleen Hamilton about the future of education. I'm so excited to be a part in the coming revolution in education. Would you like a Genius School in your country?
Genius School: All children are geniuses
What if education could be personalized to bring out the best in every child?
Angie Stead believes all children are geniuses. “A one size fits all model doesn’t help anybody, it doesn’t grow and nurture people. Education is a very emotional and individual journey, and even though we’re doing great things globally to improve the education system, it still doesn’t do right by children.”
“We are all Einstein, the challenge we face is that the system dulls us down.”
Angie is on a mission. She first built ‘Magic Sparks’, four early childhood centers in New Zealand, and then launched ‘Education Angels’ which is now one of the largest home-based child care and education networks for 0-5-year-old children.
She says, “The pace at which these children learn when their natural curiosity is allowed to shine is incredible. It saddens me when we have our ‘go to school’ celebration because I know over time they will struggle to keep that natural curiosity alive.”
So Angie decided to do something about it.
Two years ago, through a series of synchronistic meetings, Angie met Rustica Lamb, an Education Entrepreneur and learning designer, at an Entrepreneur Retreat in Bali.
Together they began working on creating a school in New Zealand based on the Green School in Bali. Green School is a non-profit, pre-k to grade 12 school, focused on holistic and student-led education, with an emphasis on sustainability.
Rustica’s people-skills complemented Angie’s creativity, and together they began planning their dream of a new school. But it didn’t come without it’s challenges. After securing a piece of land in the New Zealand bush, lack of government approval for a road to the site resulted in a literal dead-end to their plans.
The two persevered and in February 2017, at the next accelerator program they joined, Wealth Dynamics Masters in South Africa, the Genius School was born - a fully inclusive, global school with an online, open source curriculum and community that any individual, class or even an entire school can be a part of.
The Genius School was created in partnership with Roger James Hamilton, a futurist and social entrepreneur, who was also a mentor at the Masters program. Roger says “I had flown to Africa straight from Silicon Valley, where the main conversation with the tech founders I had met, was on how to revolutionize the education system.”
“From Elon Musk’s Ad Astra school that he had created for his kids, to X Prize Founder Peter Diamandis’ Education Principles, everyone had ideas but no one had worked out how to scale the ideas into a global system. With Angie and Rustica, we worked out a system that we believed really could scale - by mixing virtual learning with home learning and local learning experiences with a global community.”
In reflecting on the process of the Genius School idea, Angie said “It’s funny, because with the new model we don’t even need a traditional school structure. We thought we were forward thinking because we had round rooms instead of square ones… and now there are no rooms at all!”
The excitement in the new Genius School led to educators in eight countries wanting to start schools straight off the back of the presentation in South Africa, and in early October over 800 people applied to be amongst the first 15 Genius Educators in the Genius School Pilot program.
What makes the Genius School so different? Three genius pillars: A unique curriculum, a unique funding model and a unique organization model, designed for the 21st century.
A unique curriculum:
The Genius Curriculum begins around a personalized path for each child, where they become aware of their natural passions, talents and what is most meaningful to them, and then they are mentored on an education path that is designed to ignite their genius.
A unique funding model:
Based on the ‘Renaissance triangle’ which created the DaVincis and Michelangelos of the world, where private sponsors like the Medicis took responsibility for igniting the geniuses of their time, the Genius triangle also includes three stakeholders:
The Students, who learn through single courses, camps and schools; the Educators, who are parents or teachers trained to teach the Genius Curriculum; and the Sponsors, companies who sponsor programs and students as part of their training budgets, ensuring they are nurturing future leaders with the skills they already have a shortage of through the existing education system.
A unique organization model:
Instead of being for-profit, non-profit or state-run, the model of the Genius School is a publicly owned organization, where all surpluses are put back into the organization. Everyone who contributes to the school - as educators, parents or students - get a share in Genus School, and thereby a vote, ensuring a democratically evolving education system (and no one can own more than one share).
Surplus money coming through the company each year will go into a fund to support graduating student’s projects - like starting a business, or a purpose-driven project. In this way, the Genius School will measure its success by the future life success of its students, rather than the current systems that measure success based on how many students graduate, irrespective of their future success.
Within nine months, the Genius School has gone from concept to reality.
Angie says she can’t imagine how the world might look if all children had access to education like this - it would be beyond her wildest imagination. “The levels of intelligence, creativity and communication skills - none of us can imagine what the world will look like. I do know that we’ll be more fulfilled, more successful, more loving and more giving when children are having their emotional needs met through education that really centers around their success.”
What if learning environments could be created that support children holistically, empowering them to learn in the way that works best for them?
That’s exactly what Angie and Rustica hope to create through the Genius School.
The first training for educators is on the 8th to 11th of November in Bali, where founding educators will come together for the first time to co-create the future of education.
Will you be a part of the education revolution?