Yesterday I wrote about a new kind of school (well, new-ish, it’s been around for 35 years) where students and teachers make decisions democratically, there are no classes, students do whatever they want all day, and if they want to study something they have to find a teacher and arrange for it to happen.
The father of one of the children in the school also commented:
My son is one of those in the trailer, and in The New American Schoolhouse documentary, which I strongly recommend to anyone interested in this topic.
Because of my son’s six years at Fairhaven, or perhaps *inspired* by those six years, he is an original. He is himself, crafted by himself over 13-19, hanging out and doing what he wanted. Six years during which he took no classes, but had the opportunity to excel in the ways he found, and wanted, to excel, in an honest and functional educational community.
On the standardized SAT he took pre-college, he got a 99th percentile on the verbal, and upper-third on the math. He got a scholarship as a consequence. More importantly, he is someone who can make choices on his own, can make eminent sense in any public setting, makes evidence-based decisions, knows what he thinks, and is a pleasure to talk to.
That sounds absolutely wonderful!
Now this blog is not really about schools, it’s about happiness at work. I just got so excited about the concept that I had to share it :o)
But here’s a question for ya: What if we organized our workplaces in the same way as these schools? What if people came to work and could spend their time doing whatever they wanted? What if the company was run not by a few executives, but democratically by everybody in the company?
Conventional wisdom says that it could never work, but that wouldn’t exactly be the first time that conventional wisdom turns out to be dead wrong. It was certainly wrong about these new-skool schools.
Here’s what I believe: Not only would it work, it would blow traditionally-run competitors out of the water.
What do you think?