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Move over, Montessori: Lego school is set to open

You've heard of the trend toward play-based learning, with its irresistible idea that kids learn better when school is more like recess than rote drudgery. Well, the family behind Lego is taking it one step further by starting a whole school.

The International School of Billund will open in August. Billund is the Danish hometown of former Lego president Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, who is the grandson of the Lego founder, according to The Atlantic.

The school, for kids three to seven years old, will offer a Montessori-style education: "Collaboration, problem solving and learning through play are embedded into our learning philosophy," it reports the school materials saying, "and we believe that a fusion of these highly acknowledge learning methods … will strengthen our students' ability to engage in life as creative, critical thinkers."

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The hope is to expand the student population to include eight- to 16-year-olds by 2015. While subsidized by the government, parents will be on the hook for the equivalent of about $530 a month.

The school will be bent on "systematic creativity," according to its materials.

"When the Lego system is used in a learning environment, young people become creative, active and collaborative learners. They take ownership and are self-driven. They express their originality. They also learn from the interpreted experiences of other people as they share their ideas. They learn by reflecting on experiences and discussing how things work and they help each other to learn through the shared language of the brick," its website reads.

Some parents may be checking in to see whether their sons will receive tips on how to use a certain kind of language, i.e. the infamous wolf whistle certain Lego construction worker figures were caught out on, or whether their daughters will be met with a sea of cutesy pink play sets.

But here's guessing that many of them will be daydreaming about the ultimate parent fantasy: All of that Lego mess – especially those inescapable Achilles-heel-wounding pieces – outsourced to school.

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About the Author

Tralee Pearce has been a reporter at The Globe and Mail since 1999, starting as a writer in the paper’s Style section. She joined the new Life section for its launch in 2007. She covers parenting and family issues for the daily section. More

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