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Traditional schools were created in the image of factory lines. Now, an increasing number of parents and educators are asking whether a system that prioritizes good results and blind obedience is the best fit for a generation of free thinkers. Daphnée Denis gets to grips with the idea of opting out—from a Japanese nursery with no walls to a Parisian high school with no grades.

“All in all, you’re just another brick in the wall.” Pink Floyd’s rock opera The Wall—a protest hymn against education—comes to mind when looking at Tokyo’s Fuji Kindergarten. The Montessori preschool is so far removed from the traditional school system that its architect, Takaharu Tezuka, decided to completely do away with the object of Pink Floyd’s wrath: The building has no walls. Children aged two to six roam free in the ring-shaped building, where sliding doors open on to a

  • Words:
    Daphnée Denis

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