Do Schools Allow Kids to be Kids?

A couple of weeks ago, a colleague sent me an article from Upworthy about a new kind of kindergarten design at a school in Tokyo (link to full article). The premise of the design is that it takes into accounts kids natural impulses and allows them the freedom that they need to experience risks and be their “normal kid selves.”

At first when I read the article, and listened to the Ted Talk, I was in love with the idea of having a circular roof that students could run around, with trees and ropes that they could navigate through, and open classrooms that provided a sense of freedom. Then logistically, my teacher side came out, and I began to question how one would contain the students and how feasible a design like this could be.

After much deliberation in my mind, and comparing our current classroom state, I began to wonder how much do our schools inhibit our students from being themselves? Does our classroom design limit their kid tendencies? What small changes could we make with our students in mind?