PROGRAM DESIGN CLARITY: We are hungry to know more about what exactly your model consists of. Please succinctly list a) what main activities are you doing with your beneficiaries, b) where you carry out the activities? c) how often? d) for how many hours? e) who delivers the services? and f) any other brief details
(c+d)everyday from 8am to 2 pm
(b+e) Teachers teaching in a ΟΩ model, in school classroom, out in the play area, in the garden field, in monthly local travel visits
(a) Omikron:skills-learning activities, Omega:creativity-play activities & ΟΩ performances: engaging mixed technics using drama,music,arts, or technology.
(f) children are evaluated as a team, working in pairs & encouraged individual always along with parents.The evaluation is descriptive + evolving throughout the school year.There is a colour criteria chart with 12 or 24 criteria (according to age) they play with.
INSPIRATION: What do you consider the most important trends or evidence that inspire you to believe the world is ready to Re-imagine Learning? Please elaborate.
The most important global problem is ingnorance & addiction as escape. We are afraid of our mistakes, so we dont dare, we dont innovate enough, we dont play anymore..so we dont learn in the most effective and natural way.
It is important we Re-imagine Learning in a way that blends West and East world wisdom. West world is target orientated, rather more left brain connections(O) while East world seems more intuitive, used to enjoy more of "how" to make (Ω), than "what" to finish. The new world doesnt need to fight for the best to succeed. Synthesis of both worlds seems the solution.Balance.
LEARNING THROUGH PLAY: What does “learning through play” mean to you and why it is a must-have, instead of a nice to have?
There is not a more natural & effective way to learn than playing. Nature made it that way 4cats, 4humans, 4all animals : we play to gain experience, make emotional brain networks, memories + connections > we repeat / avoid or forget practices that helps us no more.
If formal education (O) was more informal (Ω) then creativity & joy would lead to more connections, new ideas to be transformed into positive memories and consequently stay longer as an active "successful" knowledge. If Symbolic level (numbers&letters) connected with Life level, schools would contribute positively..
SUSTAINABILITY: Please list a quick breakdown of your funding, indicating the percentage that comes from each source.
We have no funding, except our own wage from public or private primary greek schools we work for. It is average 800 euro per month.
Some parents are able to help giving resources instead money.
Some small businesses donor material we may need.
We share material and ideas : )
MODEL: How does your mission relate to your business model (i.e. Non-profit, for-profit or hybrid)?
We don't have a profit strategy.
We try to keep our project sustainable and growing stable, while we keep its volunteering character. We believe in volunteering joy : We need people with clear motivation for sharing creativity & happiness.
FUNDING PRIORITIES: If your organization were given $20K in unrestricted funding today, how would you use it? Why?
We would save it + get some mentoring to make a strategy in order to train more teachers to bring creativity in classroom.
Agoge Omikron Omega vision is a "school reform towards creativity". We would invest on proposing an evaluation model for greek schools as a tool to effectivity! Adults play!
PARTNERSHIPS: Tell us about your partnerships that enhance your approach.
Being innovating in a network is safer and more sustainable, because the working environment we experience in greek public education seems rather hostile for innovation. Because of unsuccessful efforts (of more than 30 years) for school evaluation any "reform" is regarded as a "threat" to the conservative staff. Fear of unemployment don't leave any space for romantism. Working with partners is multiplying our creativity and keeps us up.
COLLABORATIONS: Have you considered or initiated partnerships with any of the other Challenge Pacesetters? If so, please share.
We explored and read a lot of projects, wrote some reviews. Made some facebook connections to exchange views, but "SmileUrbo" or "PlayGlobo" seems closer to our project for the moment. We could try skype or see the possibility of a partnership the following days.
VISION: If you had unlimited funding, and you could fast forward 15 years to when your program has been able to achieve wild success - what will it have achieved?
Our students would be educators too and this circle in all professions as a choice of self-awareness would lead to healthier, more democratic and happier communities.
Students of Agoge ΟΩ would be a balanced example of practical life philoshophy, in personal and professional life. Other initiatives would be born by this idea started from our platonic utopia : )
IMPACT - KEY METRICS: Please list the key data points that you would cite as evidence that you are able to achieve lasting learning outcomes. Please also share one data point for which you most hope to see better results over time
We are not interested in knowledge as content, but in life skills.
Investing in young people and also creating a network to keep our community in contact, we can achieve lasting learning outcomes.
We also involve local communities and local businesses to create more active attitudes & a sense of responsibility towards younger generations.
Other (please specify)
University os Volos, Greece : Education, leadership & innovation PhD
APPROACHES: Given the complexity of play, it is not surprising that there have been numerous research attempts to categorize the different types and approaches! Please indicate which of the following your project focuses on.
Creating a Supportive Socio-Emotional Environment, Providing a Range of Opportunities (providing the equipment and materials needed for various types of play), Educational Structuring (developing playful projects within educational contexts).
Other (please specify)
Creating a symbolic & reflective game for students' self-awareness
AFFILIATION: Please specify if your organization has any existing affiliations with the LEGO Group.
Dieter Carstensen, Head of Digital Child Safety at the Lego Group