Our planet and those who live on it, face numerous challenges regarding the way we live together, respect one another, care for each other, and take care of environmental issues. Meeting those challenges requires a transformation on a personal and collective level. It requires knowledge and skills, insight in what is needed and the power to persist in the face of difficulties. It also requires knowing that working as a team is more effective than working alone.
Education is the context in which students can acquire the necessary assets. Education stems from the Latin ‘educare’ which means to bring out, lead forth. To bring out suggests that there is already something ‘in’, which is exactly what the focus on agency assumes. We all bring unique viewpoints and qualities and sharing those with others and combining them to solve problems, lead to fulfillment and joy.
Our educational system however faces systemic difficulties. The curriculum is scattered, with knowledge and skills in detail described for each subject, leaving little room for drawing inferences between subjects or between the curriculum and life outside school. Students would love to combine these worlds, as do teachers. They only need to feel the space to do so and create a learning environment that meet their needs to learn about the world, who they are and what role they would like to play in their community.
So focusing on agency is a logical way forward, for it seeks to use the strength from within and combine it with the wisdom of people who proceeded us, to bring our knowledge and society further.