Agora. Discover the world your way.
Agora is Greek for ‘square’ or ‘market place’: the heart of the city and the place to share and collect knowledge and wisdom. Ancient Athens knew the Agora, where philosophers like Aristotle, Plato, and Socrates “taught” anyone who wanted to learn from them. Agora education is a learning community where people meet each other, where self-knowledge grows and where own strength, passion and unprecedented possibilities are discovered. This is done on the basis of challenges (questions they want discover) with a self-chosen destination. The ‘learning journey’ that a child undertakes takes place via a coach-driven route.
The coach helps the child so that he or she will achieve the self-chosen learning goal. Agora guarantees that every child develops optimally and is coached individually based on trust, freedom and joy. And always with respect for the autonomy of the learner. If every child goes to school smiling and comes out of school smiling, learning comes naturally.
Agora is an educational concept that has been running successfully at the Niekée school in Roermond for some time now. SPOG (Groesbeek Primary Education Foundation) & Montessori Groesbeek joined forces to bring this form of education to the municipality of Berg en Dal. Montessori Nijmegen also started in school year 2018-2019 with a group of students from 12 years of all levels under the name MC Agora.
Education, but different
School subjects have been replaced by research into the world. Homework, tests and school methods are history. On Agora, students themselves discover the world and gain knowledge. They make a personal learning route based on their own wishes, questions and interests. This increases motivation and stimulates the natural curiosity of pupils. ‘Learning is best done in freedom’, is one of the principles of Agora. Coaches guide the students in their own learning route and are therefore called coaches. The parents are also actively involved.
Agora is about autonomous learning. In autonomous learning, the learner (the child/pupil) is in the lead. The child owns his own learning. This autonomy goes so far that the child alone determines what is meaningful to him or her. As a result, each child follows his own learning path. The learning question (challenge) of the child is central. Curiosity or inquisitiveness is leading. The learning process arises from the learning question (challenge). This is where the coach comes in. The coach directs, stimulates, inspires, helps analyse, advises and provides feedback.
Just playing around?
‘Agora is the freedom to learn what you want, but not the freedom to do what you want.’
The students complete their school with a regular diploma.
‘To give children equal chances, you must treat them unequally.’
Learning in 5 worlds
Each student follows an individual learning path. Everyone gets their diploma at their own pace. Agora is based on the curiosity of the students and is therefore inspired by a statement by Albert Einstein: ‘Imagination is far more important than knowledge.’ The entire education and activity center is designed to stimulate curiosity and the standard curriculum has been replaced by 5 worlds. Students conduct their own research in the artistic, scientific, spiritual, societal and social/ethical world. In this way the students learn as much as possible about the world around them.
Read more about Agora here:
- Meet the classroom with no classes, no classroom and no curriculum.
- How to build the school of the future – An interview with Sjef Drummen
- A new kind of school in Roermond: Agora