Edu on Tour 2012: Action Research about Alternatives in Education


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Out of our experience in Austria a 1-week program Edu on Tour:2012 was coming out as a dynamic group learning process with concrete results and a social impact. In November 2012 12 social entrepreneurs and education activists from all around the world met up to a social media campaign for making alternatives in education visible.
The participants realized the tour within a self-organizing process from and met the first time in person at the start in Amsterdam.
Among those were also the responsible stuff and founders of Nuestra Escuela (Puerto Rico; Stated funded school with democratic principles; that is one of the driving forces in the education transition in South America. During the Edu on Tour Styria we visited 5 alterna-tive education institutions.
A traveling report of the EoT2012 can be found at:
• Knowmads Business School (Netherlands; Alternative Business School; 1 Year Full – Time Pro-gram)
• Neue Schule Hamburg (Germany; Democratic School), Kinder entscheiden total frei über Lerninhalte werden von Erwachsenen nur beraten)
• D&F Academy (Germany; 1 Year Change Maker Program, 6 weeks fulltime)
• KaosPilots (Denmark; Business school; official Bachelor degree possible)
• YIP - International Youth Program (Sweden; 1 year Change Maker Program, Social Entrepreneurship)
• Nuestra Escuela (Regelschule mit demokratischen Prinzipien, Schüler entscheiden selbst über ihre persönliche Lernstrategie)

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Edu on Tour 2012: Action Research about Alternatives in Education

  2. 2. STARTING POINT • Education for the 21st century is challenged into adopting new paradigms • Driven by an era of technology that has had an impact on our society while providing unlimited possibilities for new discoveries and developments. (Michael Noer/Forbes, 19.11.2012) • Existing projects and foundations are working on alternatives with different results • Our question is how to set up a learning environment for the 21st century
  3. 3. The industrial age of education is over and we strengthen individualism by adapting the aducation and the learning environemnt on each ones skills. Edu on Tour
  4. 4. EOT2012 VISITED INSTITUTIONS • Knowmads Business School ( • Alternative Business School focused on self-directed Learning (personal und professional Development) • Neue Schule Hamburg & Nuestra Escuela (PR / • Democratic Schools: Children take part of organizing and their schools and creating their own curriculum. They have a lot of freedom. (like not going to classes) • At NE facilitators develop with the kids personal strategies and check back with them. • Dekeyser&Friends Academy (NOW: Do School • 1 year change makger training, 6 weeks full time program • KaosPilot ( • Oldest alternative University (1991) with an official degree of a Bachelor • YIP International Youth Program ( • 1 year Social Entrepreneurship Program focusing on personal development. Full time.
  5. 5. RESULTS OF EOT 2012 YIP Knowmads KaosPilots D&F Academy Nuestra Escuela Neue Schule Hamburg Key learning for building up a learning space I Requirement: Strong Commitment and protected Environment II Individualized Learning program: Informal learning with focus on the learning process III Recommendation for Learning Spaces
  6. 6. I - REQUIREMENTS STRONG COMMITMENT AND PROTECTED LEARNING SPACE • • Strong commitment and internal support of the team who is running the Learning Space. • Strong fundament of values, vision and personal freedom • Courage for allowing mistakes • Processes for mutual learning experiences • Protected learning environment (democratic principles and cooperation) • Human Level – Who am I? • Organizational Level – What do we want? • Institutional Level – What can we do together?
  7. 7. STRONG COMMITMENT TO NEW PARADIGMS SUCCESS THROUGH COOPERATION • Openness and courage for deep individual and organizational transformation processes • • • • Will to invest and acceptance of inefficient working processes Will to transform in organization and of all individuals Our path to new forms of learning is characterized of uncertainty Our path to new forms of learning can just happen in cooperation and as a collective • • • Joint and systemic experiments (trial & error) of educators and students as success secret Nobody has THE solution but everybody contributes and is needed. The path to various solutions is our mutual learning. Results of learning and the process of learning is exchanged.
  8. 8. PROTECTED LEARNING ENVIRONMENT HUMAN DIMENSION I / II • „feels like home“ - Learning Environments: Protected, trusted, friendly and without stress and pressure • • Running introduction activities and creating moments of connecting with other students and educators on a friendship base Individual solutions for learners within the group • • Peer Support and self- and peer reflection Needs, commitment and interests of the individuals are openly discussed taken care of. By that skills of each individual are useful for the learning process
  9. 9. PROTECTED LEARNING ENVIRONMENT HUMAN DIMENSION II / II • • Self-motivation is key. The student is deciding method, form and content of learning by himself The role of the strudent transforms from being the receiver of information to an active and integrated member of the learning process • • • Educators are becoming facilitators who empower, friends who support, observers who reflect Acceptance of dynamic and situated role change (learner – educator). All educators are at the same time learner Recognition of competencies enlarges motivation and learning success in the group
  10. 10. PROTECTED LEARNING ENVIRONMENT ORGANIZATIONAL DIMENSION I / II • You get what you measure • Measuring learning success and effects needs to be transformed from a purely materialistic perspective (grades, certificates, money…) to a holistic approach (including gross happiness index, executed ideas of students and employees) • Periods of learning and relaxation • The integration of knowledge and skills happens best if stress and pressure is reduced and time for relaxation
  11. 11. PROTECTED LEARNING ENVIRONMENT ORGANIZATIONAL DIMENSION II / II • Implementation of Mentor and Peer Coaching Programs for the facilitation team • • • Proactive Mentoring and Peer Coaching needs to be implemented (educators are supported by peers) Mechanism for knowledge transfer in organization Progressive organizational culture for allowing failures • • Conflict management and honoring risks Structures and feedback loops are implemented in order to learn from own mistakes
  12. 12. PROTECTED LEARNING ENVIRONMENT INSTITUTIONAL DIMENSION • Building up mechanism for exchanging knowledge and learning within regional networks • • • • Building up and sustain regional learning circles Mechanism for exchanging experience with external organizations and networks (regional and international) Invitation of internatial experts of knowledge and skill transfer (Art of Hosting, Theory U, Appreciative Inquiry, Dragon Dreaming) Collaboration projects with other players and organizations
  13. 13. „At our work we learn 20% formell and 80% informell, at the same time 90% of our Investments for training and education are for formal learning.“ John Moravec, Education Futures
  14. 14. II CONTENT & METHODS • edded&v=HhFxQlDPjaY • Emerging of content and methods • New technologies enable easy access to formally transferred knowledge • Informal knowledge can be transferred while working or playing • Students have the opportunity to influence the way of learning • Learning methods of the 21st century
  15. 15. INDIVIDUALIZED CONTENT PROZESS ORIENTATION • basic knowledge can be learned by students autonomously • • • • Ahooo to google, wikipedia and others You can learn playing guitars with YouTube, professionals and friends If you learn a programming language forums, conferences and peers provide the best knowledge Creating an informal learning environment for applied learning of the formally gained knowledge • For example: school kids guide visit through schools during open days
  16. 16. INDIVIDUALIZED CONTENT PROZESS ORIENTATION • Democratic principles. Students are taking part in the decision making process • • • Choice of educators and facilitators. Who do you wanna learn from? No fixed curriculum – strengths and interests of students are considered and influence the agenda Mutual learning and facilitation – everywhere and always • • Everybody is a teacher. Everybody knows something Core competencies of each person are acknowledged and used within the learning process
  18. 18. LEARNING METHODS OF THE 21ST CENTURY HUMAN, PLAYFUL AND LIGHT • Gamification (Playing as an important part of the working and learning process) • Participative project management with Project management and use of group dynamics (Dragon Dreaming, Appreciative Inquiry) • Body oriented life style (Authentic Movement, Pilates, Feldenkrais and inner balance by body awareness) • Conflict resolution and authentic communication (Non Violent Communication, Visual Harvesting) • Use of emotions in working and learning processes (Peer Coaching) • Getting used to democratic decision making processes • Community engagement, Art of Hosting and story telling • Integration of specific knowledge in interconnected projects (individual Projects are chosen
  19. 19. "This is the first generation of people that work, play, think and learn differently than their parents, ... They are the first generation to not be afraid of technology. It's like the air to them.“ Don Tapscott, University of Toronto
  20. 20. III EDU ON TOUR WHAT DID WE LEARN? • • Did you hear about Hattie? What does that mean? • Edu on Tour as an example of a disruptive learning environment • balance of process focus while creating results (products, services, and realized ideas, dreams) • informal learning in a dynamic group environment • Recommendations for public schools, universities and organizations – based on personal experience
  21. 21. WHAT CAN WE RECOMMEND? HATTIE STUDIE - HTTP://WWW.VISIBLELEARNING.DE The researcher John Hattie developed a meta study with more then 800 meta analyses and 50000 singular studies – what is a successful learning process 250 millions of students were analyzed in his research. His book „Visible Learning“ demonstrates the largest amount of data used in education research. Hattie permanently enlarges his data base and he identified 136 variables that influences the learning process.
  22. 22. WHAT CAN WE RECOMMEND HATTIE STUDIE What hinders the learning process • Repeating a grade • Watching TV for extended amount of time • Long holidays What doesn‘t hinder but what does not help • Open and free education • Learning and exchange of various age groups • Web-based learning What helps just a bit • Small classes • Financial resources • Learning by discovering • Homework • Internal /external differentiation • Having a principle in a school
  23. 23. WHAT CAN WE RECOMMEND HATTIE STUDIE What helps more • Regular proof of learning progress • Engagement before starting with school • Teacher centered instructions – direct instructions • Real time of learning • Additional offer of strong students What really helps • Evaluation and external feedback • Problem-based learning process • Specific training for educators • Programs for improving reading skills • Trustful relationship between educators and students
  24. 24. WHAT DID WE LEARN? EOT A DISRUPTIVE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT • • Lack of resources (restricted money and time, big pressure) Permanently changing conditions • Different forms of traveling (hitch-hiking, air plane, train,…) Flexible accommodation, sometimes they are fixed in the morning Visits of schools were flexible and free (time, form and content) • • Quick decision and agreement of decisions in group High group dynamics • • • • • Self organization and participatory project management Situated leadership of each team member Self reflection and peer reflection in stressful environment (achievement of efficiency)
  25. 25. WHAT CAN WE RECOMMEND? ACTING, EXPERIENCING, GROWING - TOGETHER • Opportunity to get personal experiences • Local support circles and regional knowledge exchange • Exchange of teacher and students (Edu on Tour Summer School) • Long-term: Developing regions as education areas. The real world becomes a learning environment.
  26. 26. INTEREST TO BE PART OF OUR LEARNING PROGRESS BE PRESENTE! philippe m greier twitter email www blog skype @fl9wrider fl9wrider