Secondary Education for the Future – Agora

Driven to despair by how my smart and sensitive eldest son was suffering from increasing stress and depression by the mind-numbing rote-learning and non-step testing regime at his apparently top secondary school in the Netherlands, I googled in Dutch “education without tests”. Up popped the page of a tv documentary about a school in Roermond called Niekee where they had been experimenting with an approach called Agora. As I read the interview with one of the co-founders, Sjef Drummen, my eyes filled with tears as I recognised the secondary education of the future that truly honours and liberates the wholeness and potential of our children. The old system is broken and it’s breaking our kids. I was determined to do what I could to bring it to my home town and so earlier this week I visited Sjef and his amazing school. I feel immensive gratitude for the vision and courage he and his team have shown in actually manifesting a working example of how it could be done differently. As he repeated a number of times to me, “what we care about is what is good for the development of the child”. Below is some more information about Agora that I have translated from various Dutch sources, and some photos of the children’s working spaces (that they get to design themselves).

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Open Source Learning

532854_344588988923886_1825172899_nIntro note: I actually wrote this back in 2000 when we were establishing Engage!. I came across it just now and was struck by how relevant it is to the work I am now doing with Ubiquity – nearly 15 years on! Gosh I was smart back then – I wonder what happened…

Link to original pdf.

Open Source Learning

A Key to Multiculturalism, Citizenship, and the Knowledge Society



Exploring the Problems and Challenges

  • Multiculturalism, Diversity and Difference
  • Citizenship, Participation and Motivation
  • The Knowledge Society

The Foundations of Open Source Learning

  • Skills, Qualities and Values
  • Beyond Certainty and Control
  • Systems Thinking
  • Think Subtly, Act Simply
  • Love your Enemy

Open Source Learning in Practice

  • Critical Thinking for Conscious Action
  • The Role of the Educator
  • Structures and Methods
  • Why “Open Source Learning” ?

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