This methodology has been developed by a group of educators, academics and civil society actors. This is an ongoing process that you are warmly invited to take part in!


Primary Education

We have started a piloting process for OSDE units for primary education (age 7 to 11). This process is coordinated by the Humanities Education Centre (UK) in partnership with CSSGJ and DICE. If you would like to take part in this process, please contact 

Sophie Mackay at 
Sophie.Mackay@ or  

Vanessa Andreotti at

The principles / agreements for primary enquiry are that:

  1. we are all different
  2. we all have different thoughts
  3. our thoughts come from our experiences of the world (things we have seen, heard, felt, tasted or smelled)

The procedures for the enquiry are as follows:

  1. LISTEN to a STORY 
  4. TALK ABOUT what we have

Units under development (power point available for piloting)

Right click on the presentations below and choose 'save target as' to save them in your computer.

Akbar's Research on Learning Spaces (exploring different perceptions of learning and education)

The Owl's Choice (exploring ideas of freedom and domestication)

The Two Explorers  (exploring ideas of knowledge and knowing)

Geckos and Dinossaurs (exploring ideas of self-interest, growth and sustainability)

The Elephant Story (exploring different perceptions of reality)



The moderation of an open space is based on the concept of critical literacy. The aim of this kind of moderation is to take people away from consensus and leave the questions open (with multiple possibilities of answers). These are the key questions that should underlie moderation:

  1. Where is this perspective coming from?
    (How did you come to think like that?)
  2. Where is this perpective leading to?
    (What are the implications of this idea?)
  3. How could this issue be thought otherwise?
    (What are other ways of thinking about this?)
  4. Who decides what is good/bad, real/ideal?
    (What groups shape this understanding of the issue?)
  5. In whose name is this decision made?
    (Who do these groups claim to represent? Is this representation fair?)
  6. Who benefits from this decision and who does not?
    (What are the gains and losses for different groups of people, the environment, power relations, etc.?)

We strongly reccommend you watch the videosOpen Spaces and Critical Literacy and go through the OSDE Professional Development Resource Pack before you pilot the activities

Mr Connoly

The OSDE team would like to say a big THANK YOU to teacher Mr Liam Connoly and the AWESOME children of room 8 at Ilam Primary School in Christchurch, New Zealand for supporting the first trial of the OSDE Primary activities!

Ilam children

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