About the Project
Another School is Possible Association (ASIP) (BBOM in Turkish) is building a movement of parents, educators, children and entrepreneurs who are striving for a child-centered, play-focused, non-profit primary education where children are “allowed to be children”. Through BBOM’s innovative and self-sustaining cooperative school model that is spreading rapidly, the association is demonstrating that another school is indeed possible, while also catalyzing a mindset shift in parents and teachers through various innovations including a series of books, teacher training and events all aiming to transform Turkey’s one-size fits all, exam-focused formal education system from within.The BBOM’s idea is to establish across Turkey democratic schools that are child-centred and encourage and enable children’s self-actualization; that are governed through participatory democracy; that are ecological aware in their practices and in their learning environment; and that are fee-paying but non-profit making and also includes children of disadvantaged groups with high levels of scholarships. This school model is indeed based on 4 pillars:
1. The New Finance – Community Schools: BBOM is proposing an alternative to financial duality and facilitating parents and volunteers to open up and run their non-profit making/affordable schools under education cooperatives.
2. Democratic Schooling: Schools be run through participatory democracy has been a central vision of BBOM’s since its establishment in 2010. All stakeholders will have equal rights to directly contribute to all the decisions, and sustainable mechanisms to ensure children’s contribution will be secured”.
3. Ecological Schools: Environment and an ecologically friendly approach is another key pillar of BBOM schools, children constantly develop gamified ways to care for the environment better, including games with recycled materials, measuring the school’s carbon footprint and finding fun methods to reduce it.
4. Child-centred Education: BBOM’s child-centred focus goes way beyond tokenistic gestures and the children have input into every single aspect of school life. That also includes the educational path that the individual child is choosing to follow. BBOM accepts that every child is unique with his/her needs, capacities and interests and therefore the individual child should put him/herself into the centre of his/her own learning journey. Through this individualised programme the child will be self-actualising his/her best and won’t feel “failing” but will be feeling “doing his/her best within his/her decisions”.
BBOM is aiming to provide a real and sustainable model that is “replicable” across the country. With some initial good examples the project have shown that parents with similar concerns, approach to education and respect to their children can come together and open up their own schools. The popular demand on BBOM schools shows that BBOM has been achieved to be a real alternative to the current system. At the moment it is much more like a snow-ball effect that BBOM has, which hopefully will be a sizable civil educational movement to change the system. The system change won’t probably happen just in terms of spreading the BBOM schools but also in terms of pushing all schools –public or private- to raise their standards in being more democratic, child-centred and ecologically aware.