The concept of the Brainport schools, which is so far reserved for secondary education, will soon spread to elementary education. At the moment, several school boards in and around Eindhoven are discussing with each other about this. Under the name “Brainport Junior School”, participants have to pay extra attention to talent development.

So far, eleven general secondary education schools in the region have been given the title “Brainport School”. “Soon there will be 14, which will reach almost all secondary schools”, says Peter Cox, Program Director Education at Brainport Development. “In that concept high schools orientate themselves explicitly on skills of the 21st century. This means that Brainport themes can be addressed in the entire curriculum, that companies intensively collaborate by means of internships, assignments and visits and that educational activities contribute to develop creativity, entrepreneurship, innovation and an investigative attitude.”

According to Cox, Brainport schools don’t necessarily pay more attention to technical education, even though the need for technical education in this region is quite big. “The way of working does imply that there is a search for solutions within technology.” That will also count for the participating elementary schools.

Cox calls it “learning venturously, exploratory and by designing. “, the so called 3-O Education. “It is the perfect way to wake up and develop talents.” With ‘Learning Venturously, Exploratory, and by Designing’ students conduct research based on their own research questions, or they design solutions for identified problems or needs. The purpose of 3-O Learning is to let children develop competences that are associated with the scientific way of working or to let children work as a designer. The education process offers for both the students as well as the teacher a grip to be able to pay attention to all phases of research and design and to focus on developing the corresponding skills.  

According to Cox the movement in the direction of this talent-oriented education has already started. “At our Knowledge Festival in October there were already 830 teachers working on this type of education. It only makes sense to focus on this through Brainport schools. That way, the transition between primary and secondary education will also become a lot better.”

3-O is not unique for Eindhoven, but the Brainport schools are. “Elsewhere the schools are usually embracing this system individually. Here it’s different. Here we develop together and share everything we discover along the way. There’s a genuine difference.”

In January the school boards want to present the details of the content.

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Author profile picture Bart Brouwers is co-founder and co-owner of Media52 BV, the publisher of innovationorigins.com.