EDUCATION IN LUXEMBOURG: WHAT ARE THE ALTERNATIVES?
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Alternative education has become a trend and is growing rapidly in the world. Luxembourg is no exception. Although the country is small, it is possible to find different options for educating your child. You have the choice between one alternative public educational establishment for basic education, two independent methods and homeschooling.
Eis Schoul: focus on inclusive pedagogy
Located in the Kirchberg district of Luxembourg-City, Eis Schoulis a small pilot school set up with the University of Luxembourg and the City of Luxembourg. It operates on a full-day schedule and accepts children from the pre-school to the sixth year of primary school. One of the school’s aims is to make all children feel welcome, regardless of their differences and difficulties, while taking into account the diversity of their needs and the pace at which they learn.
With this goal in mind, Eis Schoul operates according to the principles of an inclusive pedagogy. The children learn to become responsible and independent and to interact with the others. They live in learning groups made up of at least two age groups. They learn to structure their language and thinking, express themselves in public, argue and assert their opinion in a class council and represent their group in the student parliament. A multi-professional team composed of a social worker, a speech therapist, a pedagogue, a psychologist and a psychomotor specialist follows all the children, including those with earning difficulties and special needs. The languages of instruction are Luxembourgish, German or French but they can take children with English as their first language.
The Waldorf School of Luxembourg: imagination above all
Situated in the Limperstberg district of Luxembourg-City, the Waldorf School of Luxembourg is part of an independent educational movement with over 1,000 schools worldwide. Developed by the Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner (1861–1925), Waldorf education is based on a profound understanding of human development that addresses the needs of the growing child. Learning is interdisciplinary, integrating practical, artistic and conceptual elements. The approach is non-competitive and emphasises the role of imagination in learning. Another important concept is the threefold nature of the human being in which body, soul and spirit are taken into consideration. The idea is to engage the feelings of the children through art, music and rhythm.
The Waldorf School of Luxembourg offers education for children aged from 4 to 18 years. The languages of instruction in pre-school are Luxembourgish, German in primary school with English and French introduced early. French is the main language in secondary school and for the International Baccalaureate Diploma.
École Maria Montessori: the freedom of learning
The École Maria Montessori in Strassen follows an approach developed by the Italian educator Maria Montessori (1870–1952) and characterised by an emphasis on independence and freedom within limits. In the Montessori education system, there are no classes which dictate that a particular subject has to be studied at a specific time of the day involving all the pupils at the same time. The children have the freedom to do and learn whatever they want. They develop at their own pace through work suited to their individual needs. The aim is not to select what the pupils must be taught but rather to provide them with as expansive a choice as possible to satisfy their intellectual appetite. The whole teaching method promotes the right to equality for all and the absence of competition. Pupils work for themselves and not to get good grades. Thus, there are no mark, no class work, no report and no homework!
The École Maria Montessori offers education for children aged from 4 to 12 years. The languages of instruction are French and German. English is introduced in primary school. There are around 20,000 Montessori schools in the world. Larry Page and Sergey Brin, founders of the search engine Google, credit their years as Montessori students as a major fact behind their success.
Homeschooling: authorised under certain conditions
For young people aged from 4 to 12 years, education can take place at home. For this, you must obtain authorisation from your regional director, by explaining your motives, then inform your commune of your intent to homeschool.
For young people older than 12 years old, home schooling is not regulated by any law. In practice, all you have to do is provide your commune with proof of participation in a correspondence course or inform the Ministry of Education. Education is only compulsory until the age of 16.
For more information about homeschooling, consult the website of ALLI asbl (Luxembourg Association for the Freedom of Instruction). They provide information in English.
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