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 implementation of 'Flight for Knowledge'. The approach integrates contemporary 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.
In terms of future relevant knowledge and competences development OPEDUCA Flight for Knowledge is the most demanding pedagogy so far.
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.
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’.
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 onward), 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.
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.
Implementing OPEDUCA Flight for Knowledge requires a gradual re-built of a schools' physical structure; the well-known class-room set-up replaced by ‘Open Learning Spaces’ and settings for lectures, the schools' premises being made accessible to wider community.
Time- and energy consuming project-weeks and other more mass-scale efforts to highlight an educational priority, are no longer necessary.
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.
In the vision underlying OPEDUCA, knowledge can not be found. It is in illusion and an 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.
Finding data is important, learning however how to read and interpret them, to combine data into information, think critical, present, discuss, research for themselves and be capable and brave enough to start all over again - that is what learning is about. Knowledge is only then created when information is made use of in a sustsainable way.