THIS WEEK AT THE LIFE FORCE CANADA
EDUCATION THINK TANK MEETING
February 17, 2022
It’s always so lovely to welcome new participants to our think tank but this week we were in for a real treat! We had a sweet little friend who was just about to celebrate her 7th birthday, join us from Alberta. We enjoyed hearing her opinions and getting her input. We hope she will come back soon! We were happy to welcome people from other Education Committees in Canada and thank them for joining us. It is our hope that the National Education Think Tank can be a place to bring together the Education Committee members across the nation to share what they’ve been learning and brainstorming about. Together, we are stronger and can make positive change happen!
Can you imagine a school with no classrooms, no classes, and no curriculum? This week our think tank learned about the Agora School in Roermond, Netherlands. We started by watching an interesting and thought-provoking interview with the founder and principal, Rob Houben. His philosophies are simple: allow children to develop at their own pace with no comparison or competition, provide them with the opportunity to discover and study their passions and “voila” watch the magic happen.
Agora believes we are all teachers and prefers to call their staff “coaches”. On average you will find 4 coaches to every 55-60 students. Rob implores the coaches to try creative approaches to supporting the student’s learning and tells them to do so without seeking or requiring permission from him. Failure, whether as a coach or a student, is looked upon only as an opportunity to learn.
The school is designed to spark curiosity, recognize the various learning style and modalities, and allow the students the freedom to explore and discover their own brilliance. Much of the vast structure is open giving an atmosphere of expansion and freedom but a quiet nook for individual study or introspection is easily found. There are also warm and inviting “community hub” areas meant to bring the students together – nurturing a sense of family and pride in the school community is equally as important as providing a place to learn.
Are you a creative soul? Well, if so, you’d love it there! The school is home to a large art studio and a fully supplied music room. There is a massive kitchen with multiple cooking surfaces as well as a sewing area. You’d also have everything you need for digital design. If, however you’re so inclined, you’d be pleased to find space to explore electronics and robotics and both a fully stocked woodworking and machine shop. These spaces, plus many more, are just part of what make Agora an innovative and special learning environment.
Their motto: “When flying, even the sky isn’t the limit.”
If you’d like to see more about the Agora School or listen in on any other Education Think Tank, you can find the recordings of our zoom meeting on our YouTube Channel – please subscribe while you’re there!
If you or someone you know would like to become involved in our Think Tank, as a guest, member, or presenter, please feel free to connect with me anytime at email@example.com
Certainly, it is through working together – each of us contributing – that we will accomplish great things in the evolution of our education model. Thank you to all those that made the time to join us at our Education Think Tank this week. You are all truly blessings to me.
Til’ we meet again,
Norma Jean Maxwell
Life Force Canada
Education Think Tank Facilitator