OPEDUCA Program
Introduction
Since Teachers en Students became more aware of the practical possibilities of OPEDUCA for their daily education, step by step the OPEDUCA Vision and the growing range of activities already brought to practice, was translated into a Program offering a balanced, systematic and sustainable development of the school as a powerful learning environment.
The OPEDUCA Project can not be compared to educational programs and systems in general, especially not to those focussed on just one or a few educational priorities -  from it's holistic approach it incorporates all, goes far beyond a 'whole-shool-approach' and no longer distinguishes but integrates aspects like Technology Learning, 21st Century Skills, Entrepreneurship and Language Learning. 
ESD Based Education

The OPEDUCA Project presents the original vision placing Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) at the base of transforming education and schooling. In our joint strive to realize future-relevant learning from the start, we found that OPEDUCA appeared to materialize policy and research towards a more concrete and practical approach to implement ESD. As we started out from zero in our thinking back in 2004, we already found that too many 'innovations' in education where actually externally driven projects that people laid upon schools' shoulders. Quite often doing so, to our astonishment, with public money. Whether it concerned Technology, Language, Mathematics, ICT and so many more, each time we found that what was presented as new and needed actually, in practice, appeared to be temporary consultancy-driven prescriptive projects and activities that left schools often weaker then before. We often compared many a school to a fired up Christmas-tree full of baubles, bulbs and garlands for each and every priority they faced while it's trunck and branches withered away. Many of the originators of OPEDUCA coming from industry started to team up with teachers and set out on a mission to truly empower the schools.

Although starting out with high hopes as the 'UNESCO Decade on Education for Sustainable Development 2005-2014' evolved, it came to no surprise anymore that also this, notably global effort, produced an endless stream of conferences, papers and presentations about ESD. Again, no fundamental changes but further additions in time and place under the flag of Sustainable Development this time, presented as innovations and put on top of regular education. We made a halt, re-focused on our strive for future based learning and approached ESD as the base for learning itself. In the Netherlands, where OPEDUCA originated, and many other places, ESD seemed to have been taken hostage by policy debates and research-work; still today, if and when ESD-efforts  reach the daily life of schooling, it is too often through separate (and temporary) add-on projects that are mostly presented by persons and bodies outside the educational system.

Working most practically thus bottom-up, hence first with teachers and students in primary and secondary education, step by step a way of thinking and working emerged that also attracted cities, companies and numerous people in other areas, together discovering ways to effectively implement ESD. Today OPEDUCA is about regional real live-, inquiry-, problem- and community-based learning driven by students and teachers, focussing on the themes that will make or break our common future, taking in knowledge and practice from industry and science as primary sources of information, validated by the best in research, realising AAAA Learning, Anytime, Anyplace, with Anybody, through Any Device. What comes out of the practical learning process is a local-to-global learning space based on Open Educational Resources, constructed cross-culture and cross-border, also bringing SDG 4 very close. The whole of it driven and owned by the youth of today, becoming the entrepreneurs of a more sustainable common future.

Jos Eussen

How to understand The OPEDUCA Project as a program to base schooling on

Coming from practice, for schools The OPEDUCA Project offers a set of guidelines and concrete activities that can be molded into a practical program that can eventually lead to a full scape application of all the components of the underlying vision. There is however no general 'textbook' on OPEDUCA: the practical application and implementation depends on the specifics and challenges of each region and school and the transformation-capacity of the organisation. What we present here is a framework for implementation through logical steps and coherent activities, eventually brought forward in 12 pillars schools can work on.

One might compare the transition of a school to OPEDUCA-based education with the sequences to solve a Rubriks-cube: coming from a quite ordened but grey school reality the process will lead over an appereantly twisted state towards a perfect alignment of building-bricks and colours.

Implementing OPEDUCA as a Program requires keeping clear focus on this eventual goal, as envisioned. The process therefore starts with reaching a thorough understanding of the underlying Vision and keeping clear focus on the coherent set of developments and activities that with certainty will lead to achievement of the goals set. The transition process is a strategic development and therefore needs to be understood by all educational partners in and around the school.
Partners in Education for any school based on OPEDUCA are:

Students
Teachers
School Managent
Regional Industry
Parents
Governmental Authorities
Societal Organisations
Each program-element in OPEDUCA has been thoroughly tested and implemented  - 'It all Works' so to speak and the elements fit together perfectly. Through the following menu you can learn about the basic aspects of each building-block, each pillar of the program. We will during the summer of 2017 present here a more extensive study and advises on the Who, How, When and What of implementing OPEDUCA as a program. Keep on eye on this site or get in touch with us to enlist for updates.

OPEDUCA Events
(on site soon)

OPEDUCA Youth
(on site soon)

Partner Dev.
(on site soon)

Research
(on site soon)

Policy Dev.
(on site soon)

Alliance Building
(on site soon)

A Logical Order


The building-blocks presented have a logical order - they can be seen and used all separately, however to built OPEDUCA it is required to see the blocks as pillars to be put underneath the whole one by one. In practice schools seem to simply love single blocks so much that they (over-)focus on them and move, even rush, forward without taking time to work along a more strategic path. For indeed: OPEDUCA requires no haste, no rushing forward - for it serves eventually only 1 interest and that is the Students'. Schools can and absolutely should take the time needed given their specific and unique set of circumstances. In OPEDUCA there are no third-party commercial interests to push them forward.

The OPEDUCA Project can base a fully coherent, Strategic, school-development
As a first impression, if a schools opts to base it's strategic development on OPEDUCA, the following will be a core order of implementing the various blocks as pillars:

an alliance of people and organisations that will eventually be(come) the schools' Partners in Education, needs to be pictured, then gradually worked on (over many months and years to follow).

a Strategic plan based on thorough understanding needs to be in place, however small in first instance, later to be extended. Such a plan is much more then the mostly seen 'Year Plans' and alike. For this Strategic insight and start of the process a Management/Principal with a christal clear mind and strong backbone is almost a 'conditio sine qua non'.

Teacher Development (OPEDUCA MasterClass) is the first practical, and very intense, pillar in the development. Only if and in so far as enough Teachers can see and handle OPEDUCA, the development can go on. Otherwise it stops.

OPEDUCA Flight for Knowledge is the first time the Students lay their minds and hands on OPEDUCA, as experience shows not giving it away anymore. They start to learn thematically, integrating subjects and going 'in and out' of school to do their own research, study in teams, take their own pace and present their own, personal, learning results and development in various ways and on all aspects conceivable. 

While gathering more and more information, acquiring skills, composing knowledge and gaining insight in the world as it is and might become, students work on and present their own ideas through OPEDUCA BusinessClass.

OPEDUCA Global will be shown as a pillar already in an early stage of OPEDUCA-development, however will come to full effect once the first pillars are firmly in place because, as of that moment on, OPEDUCA Global will take it all cross-border.

OPEDUCA Global as well as the following 6 pillars will be presented on this site as soon as partners see it fit to do so, expecting the first new 'pages' in this program-section mid 2017.

Why The OPEDUCA Project is NOT a Program



The OPEDUCA Project is not a program like so many offered to schools in order to capture educational priorities or to meet the demands of external organisations. It is neither a strict curriculum that prescribes how and what to teach and educate, nor is it a 'nice' project in between or on top of regular school life. See and experience OPEDUCA as an underlying vision on student-centred development that eventually will go beyond the school as such, focussing on Learning. Thereto it is essential that the Teachers, Students, all Staff and Management take ownership for building, constructing, transforming. When starting out in OPEDUCA there will be no box of books on the doorstep with a 'this is how you do it' note on it.

The OPEDUCA Project (meant as on on-going mission) also has no target for growth, let alone a commercial intention. It is meant to (step by step) bring together the best of in a (restricted) number of regions worldwide, being innovative Schools and Teachers, but also Industry and (semi-)governmental bodies as well as Science. For OPEDUCA is also meant to make sure there is as little uncommitted interference and as much Educational Partnership as possible between the school as a learning community and the real world. Side-effects of joining The OPEDUCA Project are therefore also a (substantial) reduction of costs that many schools have in the field of consultancy and memberships of platforms, networks, etc. Let alone that an OPEDUCA-based school will loose expensive textbooks and external lesson-programs, eventually becoming a producer and user of Open Educational Resources.
Schools should be aware of this: The OPEDUCA Project really works student-focused, truly builds on the teachers and not requires any buy-inns. As OPEDUCA is implemented step-by-step, it is the school itself that transforms and will eventually see OPEDUCA as no more and no less than a new core deep inside while the school itself is at the very forefront, with it's own identity, flag, position and most of all it's people. 'OPEDUCA-inside' will do as far as this constructive community is concerned.