Thursday, 19 March 2009

Kidzania - a great idea

Kidzania - not sure about the name but an interesting short article in the free newspaper 'Metro' today about a new facility in Japan, (one of ten worldwide..... so far), where young children can try their hand at a range of possible careers with more realism than ever before.

They can try undertaking open heart surgery, midwifery, radio broadcasting, car mechanics and so on, using real equipment although some of it may be reduced size. What a simply fab place for active learning, for collaborative work, for trialling, exploring and evaluating. You can just see how the engagement of the learners would be total.

It's a great idea and one that you can just see being replicated all round the world very very fast! It just looks like real fun learning! (interestingly the first such facility opened in Mexico).

The issue is, I guess, how far is this from the other learning experiences of the young people. If it is just a one off event, and the rest of their education is content or totally teacher led then it could be of limited value and just a one off piece of fun. If the rest of their learning is interative, exploratory, collaborative and this project enhances their experiences, then so much the better.
Discussing it briefly with Professor Stephen Heppell he made the good point that if all schools had agile spaces then these resources could be used anywhere, and then move to other schools and may have rather more value.

Where is there one in the UK or rather when will there be one in the UK? If you know, let me know!

To read the full Metro story click here


Anonymous said...

this blog is great - just so many different topics - I never know what you are going to post next... and I love your easy to read style! Do please maintain it in the future - keep it up.

Gareth Long said...

Well thank you so much for your very kind comment. I do appreciate it. Please do keep reading.