Around the age of 6 or 7, children develop a great need to learn by doing, to make their mark on a community outside the home. If the setting is right, these needs lead children directly to basic skills and habits of learning.


Instead of building large public schools for children 7 to 12, set up tiny independent schools, one school at a time. Keep the school small, so that its overheads are low and a teacher-student ratio of 1:10 can be maintained. Locate it in the public part of the community, with a shopfront and three or four rooms.

… the Children’s Home (86) provides the beginning of learning and forms the foundation of the Network of Learning (18) in a community. As children grow older and more independent, these patterns must be supplemented by a mass of tiny institutions, schools.and yet not schools, dotted among the living functions of the community.

Place the school on a pedestrian street - Pedestrian Street (100); near other functioning workshops - Self-Governing Workshops and Offices (80) and within walking distance of a park - Accessible Green (60). Make it an identifiable part of the building it is part of - Building Complex (95); and give it a good strong opening at the front, so that it is connected with the street-Opening to the Street (165)

Reference for full-text of Pattern: p. 420low-confidence