Do primary school children have to know all capitals? Perhaps not, perhaps they should especially know where they can find them. But it would also be strange if a 12-year-old had never heard about Maastricht, Utrecht or Groningen. Do children have to know facts and dates by heart? Perhaps not, but it would also be strange if 12-year-olds had no idea when and where the Second World War took place.
Education is not simply the transmission of knowledge, but it is not a non-transmission of knowledge either. Education feeds the fascinating necessity of life at which developing people challenge each other on the basis of what they know and are able to and on the basis of what they still do not know and are able to.
The teachers who taught us in de past could not imagine society we are living in now. We cannot predict exactly either how the next generation will be best prepared to tackle problems and challenges of their time. Good education ventures in the tension area of knowing and not knowing (yet) of transmitting and leaving, of taking initiative and giving autonomy.
Contemporary education is developing from teacher oriented to (more) child oriented, from product oriented to (more) process oriented. The Experience Oriented Education (E.O.E) hands us a differentiated concept for this.
Experience Oriented Education got a grip on the processes as first educational concept because professor Leavers worked out the criteria wellbeing and involvement. Experience Oriented Education focuses on the highest wellbeing and a high involvement because ‘in that state’ children can develop maximally and become maximally competent in that way.
Experience Oriented Education legalises the teacher’s most important instrument: his intuition. But, besides it also takes care that the teacher can justify his acting (conceptually).

In Experience Oriented Education respect for the child and its rights has been a strong motive for innovation: the recognition of the children’s rich inner lives, giving the right to determine in which activities they engage, the reduction of moralising interventions and the pleading of a ‘natural’ and non-infantilising intercourse are indicators for this. (quote Ferre Laevers)

Experience Oriented Education does not approach children as an object (‘direct’ object) which you can put knowledge in, but a subject (subject) with which you begin processes.
Experience Oriented Education offers conventional schools a vista to realizable perspectives regarding challenging forms of differentiation.
Experience Oriented Education shows parallels with the traditional renovators like Dalton, Montessori, Jenaplan and Freinet, because it makes use of the pedagogic and its ways of working. However, it does give the traditional renovators an addition to their concepts. The process variables ‘wellbeing’ and ‘involvement’ are no criterion how processes develop. The interventions that follow can offer new impulses to educational dynamics.
Experience Oriented Education is strongly related to Development Oriented Education (D.O.E.) as well in its theory about educational renewal as in its form of appearance. Both concepts try to increase the children’s involvement and look for possibilities if that involvement is (just) not there. Experience Oriented Education emphasizes the fact that ‘the state of involvement’ is the moment of fundamental learning and not a moment to practise teacher invented interventions. In other words: involvement, which children have themselves, is given full play and if that involvement is not there try to activate that. But if they are involved, let them go!
Experience Oriented Education shows parallels to the expression forms of renewal concepts such as Iederwijs, but is certainly not the same. Of course Experience Oriented Education also works process oriented, demand oriented and child oriented but it does not deny teachers the possibility to take initiatives. On the contrary: if children are not involved by nature in one or more subject areas or educational areas, the concept of Experience Oriented Education gives the teacher involvement enhancing interventions and conditions to enlarge the chance to a maximum, many-sided development.
Experience Oriented Education is a ‘total concept’ which has been developed scientifically from practice for thirty years from Leuven. In the Netherlands there has been practical experience for fifteen years now. And in that way the ‘Expertise centre Experience Oriented Education Netherlands’ and the ‘Centre for Experience Oriented Education’ in Leuven are sources for fundamental answers to questions about what has been called ‘The new learning’ lately.
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