The 10 differences between Traditional School and Open learning School

November 24, 2021

The School of the same founders of Escola da Ponte, Escola Projeto Âncora and Escola Aberta de São Paulo brings several innovative concepts and different ways of thinking and doing education.

The point is clear: the school we have today is no good.

Traditional teaching is a teaching of the past. Created and founded on the basis of the industrialization era, it is more than proven that it does not serve today.

There are many differences that separate the Open Learning School from other schools. These are the top 10:


Traditional School Open Learning School
Memorizing in the classroom Everywhere is a place of learning
Obligation to learn Motivation to learn
Tests to evaluate Evaluated through projects
Memorize One learns
Solitary learning Collaborative learning
Rigid Discipline Socio-emotional balance
Task-based Encourages and entrepreneurial and critical spirit
Language classes Multilingual model with interaction with students of different nationalities and languages
Levels learning based on the class level Designed to develop the full potential of each child and young person in a personalized way
The child’s autonomy is not fostered Autonomous much earlier


Everywhere is a place to Learn

At Open Learning we do not distinguish between time and space. A child does not learn only when he is enclosed within 4 walls in an arbitrary period called a class. On the contrary.

It is in the interaction with his colleagues, educators and school members that he learns and assimilates the most. No child stops learning when he is out of class, just as no child only learns when he is in class.

“Before, there were classes in an enclosed space and recess was for playing. Here I learn everywhere, even during recess.”

Our young people learn through the interaction and crossing of various disciplines/areas of knowledge without the need to separate them in time and space. An Open Learning student will learn to read, write, do calculations among other subjects through their participation and involvement in activities that are most enjoyable through projects, allowing them to associate learning with something positive and stimulating. Our students learn much earlier to develop each of these skills compared to traditional school. The Open Learning School student learns from everyone, anywhere and therefore faster than others.


Motivation to Learn 

One of the many problems already identified in education is that children are not willing to learn or are not curious. It couldn’t be further from the truth. All children have an enormous desire to learn and are naturally curious. However, not all are curious and passionate about the same areas.

At the Open Learning School children will learn through the areas and activities they enjoy most. If you like to paint, you will learn fundamental areas for your development by building your atelier and creating paintings and paintings. Thus, the child will not only gain a taste for learning, but will also develop skills in their favorite area from an early age. At Open Learning School, learning will never be boring again.

“I always want to learn new things because I learn from what I love most” Dinis, 5 years old


Evaluated through projects

20%. Only 20% is what several studies indicate as the amount of information we take in through hearing. This number drops to 10% when it comes to reading. However, if we are learning while performing a related activity, the assimilated information increases to 80%. Exactly, if we are learning to do it we end up assimilating 4x more information. And if we are teaching, how much information do we assimilate? 90%! That’s right, when we present something to someone we end up assimilating practically all the information. The results are clear and yet we see schools all over the world with teachers closed in the classroom, debating information for students to learn.

At the Open Learning School, you learn by doing. Through educational projects, your child will have the opportunity to choose a project or cause that they like the most, and from there they will study, research and practice so that they can present their conclusions and suggestions to their classmates. The involvement and development of these projects promotes critical thinking, an entrepreneurial mindset, the improvement of social skills and even the appreciation of the community in which it is involved. As if this were not enough, as you will have to learn in practice and present to your colleagues you will develop the art of oratory, and you will learn much more from what you have worked on.

And it is through these same projects that they are evaluated in the most diverse areas, always respecting what is the learning curriculum defined by the Ministry of Education.

When carrying out the educational projects, they develop skills in areas as diverse as Portuguese, mathematics, geometry, thus allowing the assimilation of the proposed areas but in a much more effective and exciting model.

“Here I don’t get nervous with the tests because they evaluate our work on the project and the projects are fun”


Learn, not memorize

In the traditional school you hear everywhere “I memorized for the test” and “I memorized everything but I don’t remember anything anymore”. These are just some of the expressions most used by young people. When education is based on assessment models that reward memorization and not necessarily the understanding and critical analysis of a given area; when education models are based on the instructionism of someone defining the type of subjects that should be studied and learned despite not having applicability in everyday life and when children’s passion for one area is not used as a catalyst to learn other things, we end up for having a school where you memorize to pass the test instead of learning for life.

At Open Learning School we teach for life. Based on the mantra “one learns by doing”, we built the learning model that rewards those who learn, those who think for themselves, those who want to solve a problem and look for a solution. We look at what is essential for a child to develop today so that tomorrow they have the tools to succeed in their social and professional life. If the child likes astronomy, he will learn various peripheral subjects through themes related to the planets. If you like cars, you will learn math, Portuguese and geography through the history of motorsport.

Learning square root and arithmetic adds little to 99% of children in their daily lives and even as adults.

At the Open Learning School your child learns to relearn. It develops emotional intelligence, social competence, critical thinking, ability to work in a team, digital skills, how and where to look for information, ability to focus and autonomy. All fundamental skills for the day-to-day of every human being.

At Open Learning School, learning is the only way.

Collaborative and not solitary learning

By all schools it is defined that the teacher knows more than all the others and only from him can be learned. The teacher is the highest figure and it is assumed that all relevant information comes from him and that you learn by listening to someone who has something to teach, making learning something lonely.

At the Open Learning School, everyone learns from everyone else.

By creating their own projects, children seek information from other peers, learn from them and assume that we all have something to learn from everyone else.

“Here I learn every day with my colleagues and it’s great to learn from others”. Amelia, 5 years

Collaborative learning allows for faster learning with direct benefits for social relationships inside and outside of school. When children learn in collaboration with others, their brain’s connections with other areas of learning exponentially increase and they end up assimilating information more easily. At the same time, it naturally promotes teamwork, giving importance to the team and not to the individual as one, a critical and fundamental factor for the rapid social development of the child and the promotion of teamwork, because “together we are stronger” .


Socio-Emotional Balance

At the Open Learning School, emotions are not seen as a problem but as an integral part of what a child is.

The child learns to manage his own emotions by deconstructing what he is feeling and why he is feeling it. Through a set of questions and practical exercises, children understand what motivated a certain reaction and how to manage it.

“Children at Open Learning School have a level of self-awareness and emotional control that I’ve never seen before.” Mónica Antunes, Pedagogical Coordinator

From the moment they start at the Open Learning School, children are used to identifying their feelings, naming them and deconstructing them, thus allowing them to understand from an early age the reason for the feeling and how to resolve it.

“It’s good to know what I’m feeling and then understand.” Dinis, 6 years

At the Open Learning School your child will learn from an early age to understand himself and those around him, this being one of the most important tools for his happiness and that he will always take with him, wherever he is.


Fosters the entrepreneurial and critical spirit

In the instructionist school, one of the main results of the objective standardized education model turns out to be complete grades thinking in the same way and not questioning the status quo. The assumption that it is so because yes.

Children are created and molded to a unique model that is based on doing what we are asked to do. A reactive model that does nothing more than foster dependence on the other to define the solution and problems, creating generations of children who do not question anything and who wait for the other to solve problems.


Here we think and act differently.

At Open Learning School, we value and encourage critical thinking and the ability of everyone to be able to think for their own head. The unparalleled ability we have at a young age to question everything around us ends up disappearing once the critical spirit reduces and we assume everything we are told as an absolute truth.

In Open Learning, questions are often more important than answers. Through exercises and an environment that encourages and encourages questioning everything and everyone, including the status quo, we develop children with an open mindset and the ability to think for themselves.

“I’m not afraid to ask questions here, I really like to question what at first seems obvious” Luís 8 years old

From an early age, children know that we are the solution to problems. Through the creation and development of projects, they develop an entrepreneurial mindset, seeking to identify problems and find solutions for them.

“Here, if the child identifies that there is a problem, for example, with garbage in their city, they can decide to develop a project around it, doing research, questioning people, looking for solutions and presenting them to their colleagues. Thus, we not only develop the entrepreneurial spirit, but also the mentality that the solution and change starts with us. “


Multilingual model with interaction with students of different nationalities and languages

At Open Learning School we exchange language classes for daily experiences that encourage the understanding and assimilation of new languages.

Through a set of strategies and practical exercises, learning new languages ​​becomes fun and much easier.

Thanks to the cultural diversity of the group of tutors and children that make up the Open Learning School, children are exposed daily to other languages ​​and expressions, assimilating the pronunciation and language of the country much more easily.

“Vicky is now 4 years old and speaks and understands 5 languages. She is not gifted, she was simply placed in the right environment with the right approach” André, Founder Open Learning School

The science of education is increasingly clear that it is through sensory experiences much easier to assimilate and understand other languages ​​than through dedicated study.

“I really enjoy learning other languages ​​with my colleagues”.


Designed to develop the maximum potential of each child and young person in a personalized way

In the instructionist model, the series are composed of dozens of children and young people. Based on a retrograde model of education, the objective is to equal the level of education of all equally.

The objective is that there are no disapprovals. Let everyone approve.

The subject is given in the same way for all, defining a unique rhythm of learning and way of teaching. It is assumed that all learners learn at the same pace and in the same way.

In the instructional model, the student’s potential is leveled based on the quality of the grade. If we have a series leveled down, the tendency is that everyone has to submit to the level of the class, neglecting their potential and way of learning. This is not education.

At Open Learning School each individual is unique and must be respected as such.

From an early age, we respect each one’s learning speed, designing individual learning plans.

If all children are different why should we have the same model and speed of learning?

At Open Learning, from an early age, we identify the strengths of each one and leverage them to the fullest, promoting and stimulating each of these characteristics and skills.

“Instead of focusing on each child’s weakest points and making them level up to the average, we promote and develop their strengths. That’s how potential develops.” Monica, Pedagogical Coordinator

With a ratio of up to 1 tutor for 4 children, the support at Open Learning is much more individualized and personalized, which is one of the main factors for children to develop so quickly and positively compared to any other school or model.


Autonomous much earlier

The rigidity of traditional teaching implies immutable rules and models: class hours, eating and playing times, closed rooms, young people always sitting in the same place and with the same colleagues. In traditional education, children are educated to obey, not to be autonomous.

At Open Learning School, we give the child freedom to decide, plan and do. This flexibility, combined with a unique pedagogical model, strongly encourages autonomy, and children love it. We have 3 year olds, who started early in Open Learning and who are self-sufficient in their daily lives at school. They build your path, make your decisions and plan your day. Tutors supervise and are close and available to guide and advise whenever necessary.

Autonomous children at 3 years old! Yes, it sounds absolutely surreal but it is possible. All that is needed is the right stimuli, guidance and pedagogy. At Open Learning School we educate children, like your child, to be adults in the real ascension of the word: independent and autonomous.

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