For decades, one of the main recurring elements of criticism targeted at Hungarian public education has been the inability to adequately prepare students to enter the world of work. While most educational systems of the 20th century attempted to mirror the structure of societies, and to model expected social behaviours, the problem has still prevailed: theoretical knowledge still outweighs knowledge about how to live a productive personal life. „Finally, you are going to step out into Life” – a common expression that can usually be heard at Hungarian proms. What an empty statement, indeed! What does Life mean? What does this Life bring the young, school leaving adult – may it be a job, a family or the conscious everyday existence of the individual?
We can think of an alternative model for productive learning as a representation of productive life. Just as in the world of education, society also deserves a proper model, which can describe a way to successfully advance throughout one’s studies, as well as to provide guidance for successful, productive, individual growth. Therefore, the alternative model of productive learning cannot merely be interpreted in educational-, but also in personal and social dimensions as well. We can apply the model to a primary school class, to a kindergarten activity, to a university course, to corporate training – or even to our own personal development.
The paper introduces an alternative model of productive learning, and attempts to validate it by presenting a case study of Conkers School, a Hungarian pedagogical innovation.
Keywords: productive learning, alternative model, pedagogical innovations, case study