Artificial intelligence (AI) is hurtling towards us at breakneck speed.
So, where does hope lie in this horizon of uncertainty?
What territory remains unexplored for the cold precision of AI?
AI cannot experience Qualia, the direct human experience: from the unforgettable taste of a freshly harvested apple to the glowing redness of a sunset, sensory and emotional experiences rise as imperishable experiences of humanity. In a world designed by and for human beings, AI is unable to deliver the experiences we want and need.
At Dragon American School, our energies are deployed in exploring and nurturing these unique human experiences, especially in the early years. The authentic human essence can never be supplanted, and it’s our mission to help our young people unveil and appreciate their inalienable humanity.
Our pedagogical approach gravitates around Qualia in the earliest stages of childhood, when the world is experienced in a more direct and sensory way.
As our students grow and develop, our pedagogical strategy evolves with them. We began to incorporate into our syllabus more indirect, intellectual and abstract aspects, but connected with their authentically human qualities. The deep connection with themselves empowers them as they reach adolescence for the following challenge:
Learn to tame the AI dragon.
From symbiosis to the abyss and the imperative of a new paradigm.
Our evolutionary vision
To address this need for development, our school has reformulated the early years of education with a focus on fostering these soft skills. The environment we have cultivated is rich in learning experiences, safe, and designed to stimulate curiosity and engagement. Every aspect has been considered to ensure a balance: providing challenges that inspire but do not frustrate, fostering an atmosphere of equity, and maintaining an environment free of environmental toxins. This includes the obvious dangers of less obvious but equally shocking chemicals and toxins such as excess screen time, social media, and other digital distractions.
Our school promotes free movement, connection with the natural world, and exposure to the outdoors and natural light. The architecture of our learning environment is designed to immerse students in a world abundant in implicit learning opportunities, where the environment itself is a teacher. At the same time, we engage students in meaningful explicit learning experiences, consciously avoiding tasks that rely solely on memorization or repetitive tasks that offer little in the way of meaningful learning.
These hard skills are deeply linked to the real world and tangible experiences, providing a clear context for their use. For example, learning activities may involve measuring distances or applying mathematical principles to solve real problems. As students progress, we begin to introduce them to information technology, computers, and the basics of AI, bridging the gap between their established skills and the world of emerging technologies.
In the final years of their school journey, our students delve into high-level hard skills. These complex, profession-oriented skills range from understanding the applications of calculus, such as derivatives, to navigating the complexities of advanced AI systems. To enhance their learning in these complex areas, we harness the power of AI teaching assistants. These AI-driven tools enable a highly personalized learning experience, adjusting to each student’s pace, strengths, and learning preferences.
The result of this educational journey is a generation of students who are fully self-actualized as human beings. They are individuals who have not only developed a complete set of skills, but have also learned to harmonize their unique human skills with the capabilities of advanced AI. They are successful, adaptable and ready to shine in the era of AI, well-equipped to harness their human strengths in a world where AI is an integral part of life.
Ultimately, our approach to education seeks to cultivate the full spectrum of human potential. By nurturing essential soft skills in the early years and progressively integrating hard skills, we allow students to flourish in the era of AI. They emerge as balanced individuals who not only understand and use AI, but also excel at human skills that AI cannot replicate, providing them with an irreplaceable advantage in a world dominated by AI.
Qualia Based Learning® at Dragon American School combines two key aspects in childhood education: an enriched environment and a teaching methodology focused on the human experience.
We focus on providing a physical environment that is stimulating and safe for children. Our facilities are integrated into nature and are built with organic, high quality, and child-friendly materials. We make a conscious effort to avoid sensory and environmental pollution by providing well-lit spaces with natural light, organic-based food, and spaces that foster interaction and human well-being.
We combine conventional academic teaching with rich, multifaceted educational experiences that foster human interaction and empathy. We encourage collective decision-making, establishing a sense of responsibility and belonging among our children. This approach doesn’t just enhance their academic skills, but also helps them develop powerful emotional and ethical intelligence.
The role of educators in our method is critical. Our teachers are trained to:
A distinctive and revolutionary aspect of the Qualia Based Learning® is our dynamic way of approaching learning. Unlike the rigid and predefined structure of traditional schools, where every learning moment is planned in advance, we adopt a more organic and child-oriented approach.
At Dragon American School, every moment is an opportunity to learn, but we don’t predetermine what needs to be learned at every moment. Instead, we adapt to the circumstances of the moment, assessing the emotional, cognitive and physical state of each child, as well as the general situation of the group. Based on this assessment, we discover the most appropriate pedagogical opportunities available at that specific time.
This approach allows us to always focus on the ‘ripe fruit’, i.e., on the most accessible and beneficial pedagogical goals for each child at any given time. This flexible and responsive way of teaching truly personalises learning, ensuring that each child can progress at their own pace and according to their individual needs.
With the Qualia Based Learning®, learning isn’t a series of predefined steps, but a journey of discovery tailored to each child. At Dragon American School, we celebrate and embrace each child’s individuality and help them flourish at their own pace and in their own style. Learning adapts to the child and not the other way around.
Our personalised syllabus is a testament to this philosophy. From 6 to 18, we give our students the freedom to choose their own subjects. Although there are compulsory subjects, much of the syllabus is tailored to each student’s individual interests and needs, allowing them to follow their own passions and interests.
The timetable and the teaching staff are tailored to meet each child’s needs, aided by state-of-the-art software that uses artificial intelligence to simplify this process. This level of personalisation and flexibility is a true reversal of the traditional approach, which often tries to fit the child into a predefined mould.
At Dragon American School, we reject the idea of mechanising education. We believe that to truly prepare our children for the future, we must cultivate their humanity, not suppress it. Welcome to Dragon American School, where we put children at the centre of their own learning and value what makes us fundamentally human.
This is why at Dragon American School we’ve developed a tailor-made educational system, where the goal is for our students to truly develop all their talent without any limits by offering them a wide choice of subjects that celebrate their individuality and spark their curiosity. With our dual qualification system, we open up a range of opportunities for their future.
To achieve this, we focus on five principles:
We focus on children gaining knowledge that persists over time. This makes the learning process infinitely more efficient.
When programming the different courses offered to students, teachers design them around the knowledge and skills that the children will need throughout their lives.
Did you know that the cost of acquiring knowledge is variable? It varies according to the type of knowledge and the age of the person. For example, certain types of knowledge (such as a second language) are picked up faster and more efficiently at the right age. This is why we teach English from kindergarten level.
Guided by their Academic Coach, children choose what they want to learn from a variety of subjects and how they want to spend their free time. In other words, programming an individual school curriculum by levels and not by academic years.
Our students contribute proposals for new subjects or workshops. Decisions about school rules are proposed and voted on at an assembly (Parliament Meeting) by students, teachers and ancillary staff.
This is very important because the student must understand how our school works to get the most out of it. In order to further develop their academic pathway responsibly, children must learn the concept of self-regulation at this time.
Your child will start working on their academic pathway with their Academic Coach. Together, they’ll negotiate the courses that are considered structural to build a solid foundation and the courses that they’re interested in, guiding the student to find out what their strengths are and work on any weaker areas. Children thrive the most with a wide range of subjects that celebrate their varied talents. As a result, each child has their own school curriculum.
The wide and diverse range of subjects offered to the student, without age limitations and based on levels of learning, allows your child to discover and develop their full potential. Your child will come to school motivated and happy. With our method, they’ll acquire lifelong skills and competences. In a safe environment, with our zero-tolerance policy towards bullying, your child will be able to focus on what really matters: their present and their future.