Are these the schools of the future?

Nancy Otero, founding director of research and learning design at the Portfolio School, and a student at the school which favors creativity over testing.

Story highlights

  • A new wave of schools are growing, many backed by tech executives
  • Project-based learning shifts the focus from grades to creative thinking

(CNN)Whether school years were socially awkward or the happiest days of your life, this time (hopefully) brings back lifelong memories and a tinge of nostalgia for the majority of grown-ups.

It was also likely a time defined by strict timetables, rigid lessons, and unforgiving homework.
    Testing, too, was probably a big part of anyone's educational experience no matter where they lived. Depending on how well one performed on tests, it often meant certain doors were open -- or closed.
    Imagine a school now, though, where students choose their own curriculum and teachers are more like mentors guiding them through activities and topics of interest. Instead of homework and tests, portfolios and exhibitions would display your films, writing, art, and creations, and you were constantly encouraged to keep doing more.
    A new wave of schools are increasing in number, particularly in the U.S., many of them flipping the traditional style of schooling to a more personalized-style of education.
    A little girl plays at the Portfolio school, which opened a year ago.