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An Alternative Primary Education Model and A Participatory School Design Experience: BBOM Kas, Turkey

Kas is a Mediterranean town that preserves its local and natural characteristics despite its touristic populousness. People from metropolitan cities who prefer the slow village life to the fast city life; and also from abroad, especially from England are moving to Kas. Currently, the alternative approaches have been searched which looks to the primary education system in different ways. BBOM (Another School is Possible) is one of these investigations. An alternative model has been searched by volunteers including parents, educators, architects, engineers, municipalities, social institutions, and local people. A site in a small village of Kas was selected for the construction of the school.

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As almost all of the participatory approaches suggest, it is essential for the future of schools and communities to enable a constructive dialogue. In the scope of  the design study, a lot of meetings have been arranged and the questions like “how they can organize the education model and in relation, the spaces” have been discussed. The most crucial aim of the educational program is defined as “freedom in education”. It is a “student-centered” model; and in relation, it is influential for the educational program and spatial organization to study in the nature and schools without classrooms.

It is possible to talk about the public benefits of such alternative models in education. A lot of examples of different cases from other parts of the world prove the positive effects of similar models.