So you don’t believe you can know things without being told by a teacher or parent?

The main thing that this blog is trying to get across is that you do not need to be told something – you can discover it with science yourself. Your blogger also thinks that you will not believe this is fully and truly possible until you prove it yourself. At least this blog will try to help you believe it.
1. Get ready to fill in your applications for this school in Paris .
2. You may be able to download an episode of BBC click as follows ( with the relevant clip starting at 15.mins 42 sec Reporter Lara Lewington  Finishes at 18min 48secs).

  1. If downloading is impossible you may be a blessing to follow the thread of the situation from the following transcript.


Lara Lewington

This coding school in Paris has no teachers, no syllabus, no hours and no fees. So what does it have?

Ecole 42 was created and funded by French billionaire entrepreneur Xavier Niel. He felt that the French education system could do better, so created this place for 18 to 30 year olds to learn coding, by affectively teaching themselves. This being a concept he’d already launched in San-Francisco.

Catherine Madiner, Technical & Pedagogical Manager, Ecole 42

We have implemented something we call peer-pedagogy, it was a mix of the Fermi method, the Montessori method, was done and implemented in the Finnish educational system. It was very much searched and researched, so it is a model that has been tested and tried out a lot before it was implemented here.

Lara Lewington

Landing a place on the course is the first challenge. Fifty thousand applicants get whittled down to three thousand, for what they call La Piscine (the swimming pool) stage, which doesn’t actually involve swimming, but more of a four week trial as to whether they’ll metaphorically sink or swim. Only eight to nine hundred will make the grade.

Catherine Madiner, Technical & Pedagogical Manager, Ecole 42

From the first day they arrive here on the site, we don’t tell them anything, we don’t give them anything. They have to figure out what to do, whether they’ll login and password, they have to go find a room, how to work.

Lara Lewington

Those taking part don’t even know what they need to do to impress, but they are aware that it’s their peers assessing them

Student #1

There’s no lectures, and essays, you never quite know all the information so it takes a lot of trial and error, but it forces you to speak to your peers so there’s a lot of trying to interpret the exercises and working together with your colleagues.

Student #2

It’s really a two way thing it’s not just me asking them for help it’s also them learning, through all of my questions.

Student #3

I’ve seen some people that come here just for fun. And fun is not why we’re here, were not here for fun we’re here to work and to get better and to improve.

Lara Lewington

Seems to be a friendly place, it’s far more sociable than I’d expected. One of the main aims here is an educational meritocracy giving everyone no matter what their background and achievements to date, equal opportunity. And for that reason a place to sleep is available. Whilst undertaking the course trials some may just use it for a nap in the day, others could be staying there throughout the four weeks.

Apparently a lot of the work happened between 2 and 3am in the morning, when the place is quite busy.

Student #4

For me, because I don’t have a salary it’s good to stay here in… (Incomprehensible)

Lara Lewington

But for those who do make it onto the full course, 80% gain employment while still studying, with 100% getting jobs by the end.

Student #5

I think the really special thing about the school is the eco system where everybody who comes here is super ambitious and super motivated. And being surrounded by people who have the kind of mind set that really pushes you to perform better in life.


 1 OK you will say it is the students themselves that become the temporary teachers if they are even sightly ahead of the person who is asking.
2. However this style greatly increases the responsibility  of the student for his or her own progress , standards and confirmations , all of which cannot be bad.
3  Employers too, who must come into the building undistinguished from the students, can assess to their own requirements and standards, giving the appropriate level of remuneration for the observed abilities and decisions they make.

The whole system demonstrates a trust in humanity.

I think this heralds a whole shift of responsibilities in the learning processes. Teachers have no need to fear this . It is only the disruptive pupil who will suffer- if he/she swings into action it can only be themselves and their progress which suffers.

The things we know as schools now will become purely social establishments. They and all of society will be the better for it.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.