The OPEDUCA-based 'AGORA-School'
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 copy-paste attempt of OPEDUCA was situated in a modern styled classroom at the Niekée school and with the Niekée-creative learning base as an important original element. The partner-alliance constructing OPEDUCA took a distance, especially industry was not willing to support a spin-off, despite requests from the AGORA-Teachers. 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 for a small part to practice whereas a key-element like OPEDUCA BusinessClass was only realised through inviting general partners in learning from outside (an OPEDUCA-envisioned cooperation with industry was let go off). The thematic learning as such and its link with future-relevant issues (through the lens of sustainability, the labour market, etc.) -two of the 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 of the OPEDUCA-essence that sees the youngest new-born Child as unstoppable, unbridled learner - the opening remark of every OPEDUCA MasterClass). AGORA therewith became more off what Niekée had already been, only now on a very small scale (19 students in the 4th year) 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'.