American co-working company will open a new school to provide private and progressive education that focuses on entrepreneurship.
Office-sharing giant WeWork is bringing its concept of hip co-working entrepreneurship to a somewhat younger audience – kindergarteners. In September 2018, the 20 billion USD startup will launch a private elementary school, cited inside a New York City WeWork office, emphasizing “conscious entrepreneurship”. The school, to be called WeGrow, is based on the idea that kids should learn to develop and act on their passions early, rather than waiting until later in life. WeWork founders Adam and Rebekah Neumann were inspired to create the school after trying to find an educational environment for their own children which would nurture entrepreneurship and personal growth as well as reading, writing and arithmetic.
WeGrow plans to incorporate experiential (hands-on) learning along with progressive education techniques such as mindfulness, yoga, meditation, farming, and farm-to-table cooking. WeWork is not the first to try and combine tech with progressive education ideas. Silicon Valley’s AltSchool was founded in 2013 to incorporate tech-enhanced personalised learning, and Khan Lab schools, founded the following year, eliminated grades and traditional subjects and aligned the school to a 365 day, 9-to-5 work schedule. However, WeGrow plans to set itself apart by tapping into the expertise of workers in WeWork offices around the world, who will act as mentors to allow students to fully develop their interests. Locating WeGrow schools in WeWork offices around the world could also allow parents to take their children with them to work.
WeGrow is currently running a pilot program of seven students inside a Chabad school in New York and plans to start next year with 65 students in Kindergarten through to fourth grade in a single location. WeGrow will be open to anyone who wants to apply (and who can afford to pay). Tuition levels are yet to be decided. We have seen a great deal of innovation in education, such as software that can analayze student feedback and a startup that helps refugees earn university degrees. Will WeGrow prove to be a disrupter for education?