listening * learning with all your senses * peaceful sharing * to be heard
Ako-a-rongo is the name of a dedicated group of people consisting of educators, parents, social pedagogues with an interest in positive learning and teaching experiences. We are coming from different cultural and intellectual backgrounds, combining multiple and varied experiences in the educational field.
In March 2014, Birgit Baader, Verena Gruner and Tania Corbett set up the Ako-a-Rongo Charitable Trust to have a legal structure to operate from. Current Trust members are Verena Gruner, Tania Corbett and Laurence Boomert.
- A holistic approach of learning acknowledging interconnectedness, interdependence and oneness of all life
- Sharing experiences, tools, information and knowledge to create a life-supporting learning environment
- Developing and researching ways of integrative and democratic learning
- Initiating transformational processes towards holistic education options in mainstream/conventional education
- Multicultural integration - "diversity in unity, unity in diversity"
- Cultivating creative choices as a precondition of finding our way toward a globally interconnected web of life in which all life forms can live together peacefully, cooperatively, and with mutual benefit
- Helping create an evolutionary shift in human consciousness to support the exchange of constructive ideas and actions toward a new dynamic balance
- Building learning communities
The core group - in alphabetic order ;) - currently consists of:
Birgit Baader, journalist and author, has been part of a research group of the Ministry of Education in Germany for 8 years exploring “alternative learning concepts” in order to enhance “Schulzufriedenheit” (satisfaction in school for teachers, students, parents) and learning motivation. She has written numerous articles and reports about the free-learning movement in Europe, and about the motifs behind homeschooling and unschooling.
Tania Corbett, former teacher & Maori cultural advisor, brings in her interest and passion for Maori culture. She is promoting the integration of Maori values and wisdom in education.
Margaret Giroux worked at Christchurch’s democratic schools Discover1 School and Unlimited Paenga Tawhiti, and has many years of practical hands-on experience in various roles as an educator, educational researcher and educational consultant.
Verena Gruner is a founding member of Mountain Valley School and shares her long years of experience and knowledge in democratic education.
Katerina Seligman is a certified psychodrama trainer, educator and practitioner (Australian and New Zealand Psychodrama Association). She has spent her whole working life assisting people to develop their relationships, strengths and abilites. Katerina is a lively grandmother, a student of Te Reo and Te Tikanga Maori, environmentalist and has extensive experience in Buddhist meditation.