OPEDUCA MasterClass
The role and capactiy of Teachers is key in OPEDUCA, the Learner-Teacher relation a focal point. The conjunction where teachers and learners operate is in the heart of the educational process. Backed up by management, it are first the teachers that take up the essentials of OPEDUCA-based learning and education. In a series of MasterClasses, background studies, fieldwork and small scale experiments, they build OPEDUCA.

Believing and re-investing in the Teaching Profession

OPEDUCA: Made by Teachers

OPEDUCA MasterClass has been designed to support teachers to develop the necessary skills, knowledge and understanding for succesfully implementing and building OPEDUCA in their school and region. Through MasterClass teachers also learn about the worlds of work, the latest scientific and social developments, and local as well as global trends related to sustainable development.

OPEDUCA supports teachers to re-invent and fully empower themselves.

Teachers learn to take (back) responsibility for education by renewing their own professional development through intensive and transformative training in OPEDUCA MasterClasses’. The MasterClasses are organised in multi-day courses, both in the own region as well as connected to the expanding global learning space. Through the MasterClasses teachers also learn to practice and apply reflective skills with acknolwedgement of the cultural context in which their learning and that of their students takes place.

To teach
is to touch
a life forever.

"Teachers and students together become the drivers for transformation through education".
Anneloes Smitsman - OPEDUCA Mauritius

OPEDUCA MasterClasses

Going where higher education left behind

Every OPEDUCA development in the field starts with re-basing und upgrading teachers' profession, position and ability to act.
The minimum 'take-off' speed is achieved after an intensive 4-day MasterClass.

As OPEDUCA leads to re-thinking education, a whole school development can be envisioned, a proces that can only be carried by a strong backbone of professional teachers. For OPEDUCA is not an 'add-on' to regular scholing, but a new base that eventually effects the whole scale of educatoinal policies and practice. Through OPEDUCA MasterClass teachers start their route towards becomming entrepreneurs of education.

OPEDUCA is being built and operated cooperatively, so are the MasterClasses. They are joint efforts of schools, industry and science, eventually leading to a true peer-to-peer learning of teachers.
During the first year, 4 day & night MasterClass days are mixed with try-outs and test in daily school practice. Gradually and on a basis of full adoption by the school, the MasterClasses go further, deeper, become more intense untill the teachers have full control over OPE


OPEDUCA MasterClass is an out-of-school experience, a joint effort, not a course or training.

Mostly in 2+1+1 days before implementing first practice.
4-day All-Inclusive (minimum 1 overnight stay)
Average Group-seize: 18
Day 1: General Principles
Day 2: Focus on Flight for Knowledge
Day 3: Focus on BusinessClass
Day 4: Desing / Implementation
Average Rating
given by the most recent 380 teachers
is 9,4 in a variance between 7,4 and 10

‘Intensity’ 8,9 (on a scale to 10)
Successful pass to 2nd Year: 80%
OPEDUCA-talented on entry: 20%
Personality / Creative Competences / World wise / Organization Skills / Communication / Association / System Thinking / Critical Thinking / Subject-Integration / embedding Technology / ICT-Skills / Learning Circles / Action Planning / Entrepreneurship / Team Work

The OPEDUCA-based 'AGORA-School' - a study case

Amongst the many that followed OPEDUCA MasterClass were in 2012 also the teachers and principals of Niekée (created by Sjef Drummen) and Connect College (led by Jan Fasen, for many years a guest at OPEDUCA development meetings) who shortly after launched 'AGORA-School' (Roermond, Netherlands, 2014) as their innovation initiative. The for a large part OPEDUCA-based approach was situated in a modern styled classroom at the Niekée school and with the Niekée-creative learning concept as an original element. The partner-alliance constructing OPEDUCA took a distance, especially industry was not willing to support a spin-off. For this and other reasons today AGORA differs substantially from the OPEDUCA-original: elements copied in (mainly from OPEDUCA Flight for Knowledge, such as the Student as problem-solver, IBL, PBL and the deep-reading moment) came only for a part to practice whereas key-elements such as OPEDUCA BusinessClass couldn't be realised. The thematic learning as such and its link with future-relevant issues (through the lens of sustainability and the labour market, two OPEDUCA-elements that bring in the knowledge-perspective) was exchanged for a major focus on the diversity of the students and their individually chosen topics to build their learning-pathway on (thus also letting go of the continuous curriculum-link, the ongoing learning-process to further education, the use of Open Educational Resources and the OPEDUCA-essence that regards the young, from birth on, as an unstoppable, unbridled learner - the opening remark of every OPEDUCA MasterClass). AGORA therewith became more off what Niekée had already been, only now on a small scale and promoted separately.
Despite, as Jan Fasen put it, his need to have their AGORA-Coaches “feel the leading OPEDUCA principals in the deepest vessels of their body and make them hold on to, think and act through OPEDUCA”, until today that level of understanding and practice has not been achieved by AGORA. In OPEDUCA MasterClasses the AGORA-case is now studied as a 'too solo, too soon'.

The first year of AGORA-students at work with the basics of 'OPEDUCA - Flight for Knowledge' on the theme 'Construction' (autumn 2014).

Teachers at Connect College organised information sessions for (new) students and their parents at school, presenting the concept and working of OPEDUCA.
In order to give a lively impression, interactive lesson-sessions were organised to show what it would be like to learn in OPEDUCA.

For me teaching is not only a source of living, but a passion with which we teachers can express our devotion and commitment to the preparation of a generation of young people, well equipped with skills and knowledge to face the life that is ahead of them. I really do believe that a teacher has a profound impact on a pupil’s personal, mental and intellectual development and such an impact will travel with them all of their lives. Being a mother of four children, I sense deeply the value of education and the importance of implementing a good foundation based on mutual understanding and the setting up of good humanistic and moral standards to equip young people for the tasks they will face as their path in life unfolds . Therefore these pupils can proceed on their life paths from the very earliest phases of their childhood with confidence & academic ability.To be a teacher of Young Minds is one of the most rewarding demanding & important job ever. It is a great responsibility and one I bear with Great Pride & Honor.

Rema Alawar
Teacher at Wayne County Public Schools - North Carolina

"I try to teach my students to have reasonable expectations of their performance. I teach them not to be afraid of failure, not to be ashamed of mistakes. I teach them that mistakes and failure are a NECESSARY and IMPORTANT part of learning.

"Ever tried. Every failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better." - Samuel Beckett.

"I am always doing that which I cannot do in order to learn how to do it." - Pablo Picasso.

"I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed." - Michael Jordan.

This is what I teach.

I think the mistake is in conditioning students to have the unrealistic expectation that they need to be perfect in order to succeed. This is why I firmly believe that every teacher should have to spend a year or two (at least) working in a field related to their subject OUTSIDE of education and teaching.
We as teachers need to better understand the world we are preparing students for, and the expectations of that world. Teachers who merely assign homework, put numbers in a grade book, and attempt to condition students to sit still, be quiet, and practice unconditional, unquestioning obedience of authority ... well, those teachers need to get out more often".

Mark Blanton
Seishin Girls' High School / Okayama
“The most important factor affecting student learning is the teacher. The immediate and clear implication of this finding is that seemingly more can be done to improve education by improving the effectiveness of teachers than by any other single factor”

(Tucker & Sponge, 2014).

In one large study of American teens, the single most important school-based predictor of academic growth in mathematics -- from the 8th to 12th grades -- was a student’s perception of “connectedness” with his teachers

Gregory and Weinstein (2004).