What if schools became intergenerational learning spaces | Benjamin Freud | 9 Min Read

This may sound odd, but I love calling for help when my computer decides to go rogue, not following the plan that I so carefully and naively laid out before class. I fumble a bit with the cursor and click the same icon a few times because, much like an elevator button, repeating the same action is somehow bound to jumpstart what refused to work instants before. After a final sigh, I end up regaining some sanity and call out “I need tech support!” Inevitably, two or three bodies rush to my table, quickly assess the situation, confer briefly, and take control of my keyboard. Generally, within a few minutes, the problem is resolved.

Did I mention the tech support crew was made up of 12-year-olds? I always ask for help from my students. They almost always know more than I do. They find their way around a computer (an app, a piece of equipment, so many things) better than I can.

My wife Charlotte can tell the same story several times over. She teaches third-graders, 8-year-olds.

Expertise knows no age. Experience yes, but not age. Interest doesn’t know age either. Curiosity shouldn’t, but it often does.

The difference…

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Benjamin Freud, Ph.D.

Benjamin Freud, Ph.D. is the co-founder of Coconut Thinking, an advisory that supports schools and learning organizations to co-create, co-develop, co-stress test, and co-implement ideas that nurture the conditions for emergent learning. Benjamin is also the Head of Upper School at Green School, Bali. He was previously the Whole School Leader of Learning and Teaching at Prem Tinsulanonda International School in Thailand. He was the Academic Coordinator at Misk Schools, one of the most prestigious and high-profile school in the kingdom. In 2018-2019, he was also the Head of Upper Primary and Middle School at Misk. Prior to this, he was Vice-Principal of the Middle School and High School at the Harbour School in Hong Kong. He holds a Ph.D. in History, an MSc in Education, an MBA, an MA in International Relations, and a BA in International Affairs. Benjamin was born and grew up in Paris, France. He moved to the U.S. when he was 15 and spent 11 years there in different cities before living in the U.K., Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, and now Bali, Indonesia. He started his career in consulting for Internet start-ups in Silicon Valley in the late 1990s, working with people whose ambitions were no less than to change the world. This experience had a profound effect on Benjamin's outlook on education, innovation, and entrepreneurship.