OPEDUCA Program
Flight for Knowledge
Based on the OPEDUCA concept that learners should be enabled to learn anytime, anyplace, with anybody, through any device, on futures' most relevant themes, the practical starting point of the re-oriented education is the development en operationalization of 'Flight for Knowledge'. The approach integrates a range of subjects in thematic inquiry based learning in and outside schools. It is student-based, engaging and relevant, leading to thorough learning and deeper understanding of the world at large to the smallest detail.
Flight for Knowledge is unique for each learner (supporting individual learning) and functions in learning-groups, for the school as a whole and within OPEDUCA regional as well as global.
In terms of future relevant knowledge and competences development OPEDUCA Flight for Knowledge is the most demanding pedagogy so far.


Ongoing learning lines through Inquiry- and
Problem Based Learning
from primary up to higher education

Teachers and students join in a cooperative learning process, starting out with researching and charting future relevant themes such as Food, Water, Energy, Construction and Health in ever more detail. Brief classroom based instructions are mixed with the design of extensive ‘Fields of Knowledge’ that bring together an array of interrelated subtopics through which all existing curriculum subjects and elements become integrated. The students work inquiry- and problem based, projecting and researching (sub-)themes in their own geographical region as well as beyond.
The transition this requires from schools coming from (or still based on) traditional instruction, fixed lesson-plans, programmed daily schedules and the usual ‘flow’ of a schoolyear,
goes step-by-step and is controllable. The various programme elements and instruments in OPEDUCA indicate a revolution but their implementation allow an evolution. Tempo and breath are matched with the teachers’ capacity to change and with the schools means to (gradually) adapt facilities. After having created their first base-line of studies for each theme, students go out in their community to further investigate, record and present a set of subtopics. They draw from practice through exchanges with businesses, societal organizations and other ‘Partners in Knowledge’ that share and further enrich their ‘Flight for Knowledge’. 

Development of future based competencies requires that ‘knowledge’ becomes embedded in the development of practical skills and application through which a whole system understanding emerges for the application of this knowledge to achieve sustainability. Alignment of core personal values and empowerment through personal development is part of this and essential to learning in OPEDUCA.
Questioning information and date, as prerequisite for acquiring knowledge, is key in Flight for Knowledge through the application of Critical Thinking. With students (from kindergarten onwards), Critical Thinking provides a way of developing greater understanding and also making connections between material. It has considerable creative potential in its emphasis on the value of looking for explanations and in encouraging the production of well-reasoned argumentation.

‘Flight’ refers to the endless freedom of young people to learn, go out and discover new landscapes and perspectives, meeting one of our most essential Human Rights. A freedom that various ways of ‘education’ and the organizational concept ‘school’, should not limit or restrict, but be based on.


OPEDUCA Flight for Knowledge server students off all grades and levels and present the opportunity for a continuous co-production of students and teachers.

Flight for Knowledge enables and requires students to continuously share their learning with each other, using all possible means of ICT and social media. Choosing their own specific parts in each Field of Knowledge they study further, learn to seek and find data and transfer that to information. All their outcomes, the students continuously present in their teams during their studies, but also on a larger scale before a live audience.
The students’ live appearances (that also are part of OPEDUCA BusinessClass and OPEDUCA Global), offer podia for showing progress and results of the respective studies, but even more then that give students opportunity to present themselves. They continuously construct, manifest and present their learning outcomes, on location at their school but also at company premises and through exhibitions at cultural and societal locations in their region. Accordingly, research, project development and presenting, while seeking dialogue and collaboration, are daily activities for students in OPEDUCA.

OPEDUCA Flight for Knowledge is about giving Students Wings to inquire, discover and go out to learn and experience.

" .....not just bring knowledge on a plate to people, but also foster co-creation in knowledge and participation in knowledge production, as this will optimise sustainable outcomes".

Robert Wade

Impact on the school as a learning environment


Implementing OPEDUCA Flight for Knowledge will have a range of conseuences for the school. One of them is that the physical structure of a school will undergo a transformation; the well-known class-room set-up will be either replaced by ‘Open Learning Spaces’,
or transformed into larger, more college-hall-like, rooms that make it possible to address larger groups of students by 1 teacher on specific subjects and sub-themes of a Flight for Knowledge.

In OPEDUCA whole-class activities (visits, exchanges) are replaced by a large amount in great variety of student-teams searching for knowledge during their thematic learning process. From the perspective of the school, time- and energy consuming project-weeks and other more mass-scale efforts to highlight an educational priority, are no longer necessary. Means available can now be ‘injected’ more specifically for the better good of the learning-process, raising both its efficiency and effectiveness.
Businesses, Science, NGO’s, Cities, etc., are invited by the students to (be-)come Partners in Knowledge.

OPEDUCA practice shows that the students embrace Flight for Knowledge rapidly, with pleasure and measurable learning outcomes, where it is the teachers that have to face the challenge of adapting, to keep pace with their students who grow wings and go out to discover, observe, question, debate, report and question again; who learn.


 

Students want to be instructed by teachers who have actually achieved and can give authentic examples of how what is being taught can be translated into actionable outcomes. Students will develop lifelong relationships with their instructors and stay connected by way of various social media platforms.

J. Philip Harris, MBA
Superintendent - Daniel Boone Area School District

"Integrating Systems Thinking to understand the fascinating complex World we live in".
Anneloes Smitsman


No Knowledge to be found

In the vision underlying OPEDUCA, knowledge can not be found. It is in illusion and easy way out of pedagogical discussions, to state the students can simply go on the internet and find whatever they need. They will find a lot, a lot of data, impressions and interpretations that is.
If is very important to find data, learning how to read and interpret them, to combine data into information. But knowledge is only then created when information is made use of in a sustsainable way.

Jos Eussen
If I knew where the knowledge is
I'd go there

Some practical steps in OPEDUCA Flight for Knowledge



Teachers and students join in a cooperative learning process, starting out with researching and charting future relevant themes such as Food, Water, Energy and Health in ever more detail. Brief classroom based instruction is mixed with the design of extensive mappings that bring together an array of interrelated subtopics through which all existing curriculum subjects and elements become integrated. We refer to this program element as the design of a ‘Flight for Knowledge’ per theme. ‘Flight’ referring to the endless freedom of the young to learn, to go out and discover new landscapes and perspectives.

Through this practical setup of OPEDUCA there are no longer potential divisions between Alpha, Beta and Gamma talented students. Everyone is given the change for a full scale development of all their talents.

The ongoing design of each ‘Field of Knowledge’ in ever more detail is based on inquiry- and problem based learning, the outcomes of which students continuously share with each other using all possible means of ICT and social media.

After having created their first base-line for each theme, students go out in their community to further investigate, record and present a set of subtopics. They draw from practice through exchanges with private sector, societal organizations and other ‘Partners in Knowledge’ that share and further enrich their ‘Flight of Knowledge’. 

Students continuously construct, manifest and present their learning outcomes before a live audience, on location at their school, at company premises and through exhibitions at cultural and societal locations in their region. Accordingly research, project development and presenting while seeking dialogue and collaboration are daily activities for students in OPEDUCA.



From Learning disciplines to multidisciplinary design


Basically schools are still offering education linked to knowledge delivery to be remembered and reproduced. This educational strategy is clearly outdated - out of balance with the new generations as well as with globalized economy. The new generations of young learners are not expected to contain knowledge, but to create and use knowledge.  This includes operations such as: 

* Identifying and describing a real-life problem during the learning process,
* Research the problem and find relevant tools and knowledge,
* Analyse the knowledge critically and test it,
* Establish small eco-systems of collaboration in the community to work through the problem and tap into crowd resources,
* Design possible solutions and present the solutions to a wider community audience,
* Identify possible funding of - the solution in collaboration with the community .

All those knowledge creation and use phases include strong competences to express, formulate, visualize, report, present, document and communicate problems and solutions, including traditional as well as online communication and media tools. This “journalistic” dimension is more or less absent in primary schools across Europe. Or, best cases, the young learners are allowed to practice such skills and competences in small isolated activities.
The idea is to mobilize the young learners’ talents, skills and curiosity to allow them to bring such experience with them on their future educational journeys. The project aims to design, implement and document how the systematic development of such skills and competences can be integrated in all subjects and work forms in primary schools, offering at the same time new motivation and engagement to disengaged young learners and burn-out teachers. The core of the project is the early learning of creative expression of problems, processes and solutions.

“The test of a good teacher is not how many questions he can ask his pupils that they will answer readily, but how many questions he inspires them to ask him which he finds it hard to answer”