When you say “School” to someone in the United States, they usually think of a college or a grade school, backpacks, florescent lighting, classrooms with desks or lecture halls. But that’s a very…first-world, privileged, view of schooling. There are hundreds of different ways to get an education, and millions of things worth studying that you aren’t going to find in standardized testing curriculum. To open your eyes and your mind a little bit – and maybe make you a little grateful – here are 25 Unusual Schools That Actually Exist.
The Grey School of Wizardry
A non-religious, non-profit school focusing on classical education, they state, “The first Mystery Schools of Wizards like Plato, Socrates, Aristotle, and Ptolemy gave us Classical Education. At Grey School, you earn a magical, classical education from our secular School of Wizardry.” They offer 16 departments and four Colleges (or *cough* houses) that students under 18 are sorted into: Sylphs, Salamanders, Undines, or Gnomes. Their Motto “Omnia vivunt, omnia inter se conexa” means ” All things live, all things were linked together.”
This school isn’t actually weird, it’s just awesome. They started in Germany as Waldkindergartens, but now they’re in various places across the US as well. The general idea is that you take away the rigid structure of a classroom that small children are too young for anyway, and immerse them in nature with a plant focused, more free-form curriculum. Do they make Forest Colleges? Please yes? Post-Grad programs?
Twice a year, Bangladesh floods, and this leaves most people without basic life necessities, much less the ability to go to school. Fortunately, there’s a nonprofit called Shidhulai Swanirvar Sangstha that builds important things – like heath care centers, homes, and schools – that float. The boats are solar powered, and the boat schools all have a small library, internet access, and at least one laptop. They were started in 2002, and some 70,000 children have attended boat schools since then.
You may have heard of the infamous “Body Farm,” located in Knoxville, TN. It belongs to the University of Tennessee’s forensic anthropology department, and they study human remains and decomposition. Bodies that are donated to science are put in any of a variety of situations, much like a body may find itself in in the real world, and they study what happens over time.
Prostitution is legal in Spain, and there’s a school for it. It’s called Trabajo Ya! and is located in Valencia, Spain. Opened in May of 2012, the school faced legal trouble for those who are biased against professional sex workers, but a judge threw out their cases as having no basis.
Photo Credits: feature image: shutterstock, 25. shutterstock, 24. pexels (public domain), 23. Marufish via flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0, 22. Lisa Bailey via flickr, CC BY 2.0, 21. wikimedia commons (public domain), 20. pixabay (public domain), 19. Starlightchild, The main entrance to the Niah Caves at sunset., CC BY-SA 3.0, 18. Traci Lawson via flickr, CC BY 2.0, 17. Mehgan Heaney-Grier, MehganTheMermaid, CC BY 3.0, 16. pexels (public domain), 15. Ken Lund via flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0, 14. pexels (public domain), 13. wikimedia commons (public domain), 12. max pexel, 11. wikimedia commons (public domain), 10. pixabay (public domain), 9. Jim Bowen, Tree Climbing, Bear Style, CC BY 2.0, 8-7. pixabay (public domain), 6. Brad Flickinger via flickr, CC BY 2.0, 5. Timrock, Hamburger University, CC BY-SA 4.0, 4. wikimedia commons (public domain), 3. Brian Finke, Brooklyn Free School – first day of their eleventh year, CC BY-SA 4.0, 2-1. pexels (public domain)