Agora Schools have no classes, no classrooms and no curriculums! It is a learning environment where the focus is on learning, not teaching. Students are given control over their own educational journey where they explore and learn about topics which are of interest to them, such as; German mountain guiding, Mongolian horses, blacksmithing, Harry Potter “patronuses”, tables and skateboards. (Source https://medium.com/pi-top/meet-the-school-with-no-classes-no-classrooms-and-no-curriculum-7cc7be517cef)
This method of education observes students instead of testing them. Students show that they have the knowledge needed to successfully function in society. There are three levels of secondary education; the basic level, where students are educated to become technical members of society, ie; plumbers, carpenters, administrative assistants, the next level is a higher level where students who want to become teachers, managers can train… and thirdly, there is the highest level, where children who want to become doctorial candidates can study towards fulfilling those dreams. There are no “teachers”, only “coaches” who help guide students towards being life-long learners.
The noted benefits of the Agora School System are:
- Children choose the areas of study that interests them
- Facilitators coach, not teach
- 1:17 student to staff ratio
- There are tangible results and a genuine developmental journey
- It’s a blend of a type of university (where there is knowledge), a Buddhist monastery (where one can think), a theme park (where there is play) and a communal marketplace (where students can trade and swap things)
- Each student has a “desk” which they are encouraged to customize their own work space and create in that space or move to group work which could include a wood shop, metal shop, textiles room, kitchen or computer room
- All children are provided with their own computers and internet and phones, which they are allowed to use all day, using WhatsApp for messaging and finding resources to assist them on their educational journey. This is affordable because books typically aren’t used.