Posted on 11/11/2013 at 01:28 PM by Global Reach


In ancient Greece, every city and town had an agora--an empty space surrounded by buildings for meeting, for buying and selling, for looking for a job, or for watching the trials of criminals. Business men could make deals, banks would operate, and men could have their hair trimmed. Women collected water. In other words, the agora was vital for the community.


According to Whipps (2008), the Greek agora changed the world. “What went on at the agora went beyond the simple daily transactions of the market. The conversations that happened there and the ideas that they bore continue to affect us to this day, from the way scientists carry out their work to how we pass our laws.”


AEA PD Online also has an Agora community. Within the Agora, there are several Communities of Practice being designed or already designed. One of these is for the Visual Arts. Not only is this Agora a community of practice, it is also a class that will begin on December 11, 2013, and then continue on in Agora.


Communities of Practice, according to Wenger (n.d.) are groups of people meeting and contributing regularly in order to improve a practice. There are three criteria necessary for a community to be a community of practice:
  1. Domain: An identity defined by a shared domain of interest, and a commitment to the domain.    
  2. Community: “Members engage in joint activities and discussions, help each other, and share information. They build relationships that enable them to learn from each other.”
  3. Practice: “Members of a community of practice are practitioners. They develop a shared repertoire of resources: experiences, stories, tools, ways of addressing recurring problem—n short a shared practice. This takes time and sustained interaction.”


The course will begin at the Prairie Lakes AEA Office in Storm Lake on December 11 from 9:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. The Design Thinking for Educators Toolkit will be used by participants to assist them in designing units of study. The toolkit can be downloaded for free.


To register for the course, you can go to:


Ancient Greek Agora. Retrieved from


Wenger, E. (n.d.). Communities of practice: A brief introduction. Retrieved from


Whipps, H. (2008). How the Greek Agora changed the world. Retrieved from



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