Why choose Ecole Active?
When parents first come in contact with our school, they have a number of questions. This article hopes to answer the most common ones.
Historically, active pedagogy refers to Adolphe Ferrière who, at the beginning of the 20th century, was among the first to use the term active school in his publications. Pedagogues such as Pestalozzi, Decroly, Montessori, Gattegno and Freinet have also played an important role in establishing this new pedagogy.
Our school is part of this movement and also refers to some of Jean Piaget’s work. There are many differences between the active pedagogy as it was at the beginning of the 20th century and what it is today. It has the particularity of being in constant evolution. Thus the work of current French speaking researchers or associations such as the AFL (Association Française pour la Lecture) and the GFEN (Groupe Français d’Education Nouvelle) and that of the Faculty of Education of the University of Geneva, continue to influence active pedagogy.
In order to build up their knowledge, children learn through trial and error, formulate hypotheses and then check them. Imagine, for example, that a group of children has to answer the following question: What is the purpose of the letter s at the end of French words?
The first answer will be: the s shows that the word is plural.
They are given a text and told to underline all the words that end with an s and to arrange them into different groups. In this way, they will discover that the S in the French language has several roles (verb conjugation, plural, etc.) and will become aware of the rules instead of just being told about it.
Far from being feared, errors are exploited as a formative tool. They are the source of reflections, arguments and experiments that lead to constructed knowledge.
At Ecole Active, each child will follow a different path according to his/her interests and needs. A personal project is developed with the teacher. The challenge for the teacher will be to find what best suits each child or group of children.
At the classroom level, we practice, among other things, project-based learning.
A few years ago, for example, a project called “Container for Niger” allowed our students to correspond with children in Africa. Through this project, we worked on geography, history, environment, but also French and mathematics. A small group of students even went on a two-week camp in Niamey to meet the children of the Atlik school.
Creating a play in three languages from scratch, replacing salespeople to advise books in a city bookstore, finding ways to go scuba diving in the Mediterranean, creating a class newspaper… There are many possibilities that bring meaning and motivation to school work.
Project-based learning allows students to make links between the different subjects from their curriculum.
Personal projects, differentiation in learning... All this must require a lot of autonomy from the children? Can it be done from the age of 3?
Our goal is for children to become socially and academically responsible students.
For example, each new student will have a sponsor, at least for the first year at school, to help him/her to integrate successfully. Experience shows that the relationships between the older and younger children are strengthened by that bond.
Parents can also get involved in the life of the school (library, maintenance of games, garden, organization of parties, etc.) and/or via the APA Association des Parents Actifs.
Furthermore, this allows the children not to be ranked amongst each other.
Of course, they might have the same fears as any child who approaches a new school or a new system. However, they have become accustomed to collaborating, asking questions, respecting others as well as to work autonomously. These are all skills which will allow them to settle in easily.
The teaching methods used at Ecole Active aim at the harmonious development of the child’s personality through the construction of academic skills, social intelligence, independence and critical thinking.
Children aged 3 to 10 (including 6P) benefit from a bilingual French-English immersion program
Film Arte Philo
The practice of philosophy with children.
Discover through images one of the activities that makes us unique in the Geneva educational landscape.