The abbreviation LuDUS is a Latin word meaning both ‘school’, ‘training’ and ‘game’, ‘sport’, ‘fun’, ‘entertainment’. It expresses the spirit in which activities at our learning centre are supposed to take place.
First of all, a learning centre (Léieruert) is a meeting place for people who want to discover the world and themselves. Ideally, it consists of a building with many rooms in which a variety of resources enable visitors to carry out different activities in the domains of art, sports, science, meditation and practical work. Surrounding the venue is a plot for gardening, exploring and playing, as well as an access to natural spaces such as a forest, river, and pond. A learning centre also seeks to cooperate with the surrounding human community, e.g. with companies, associations, day care centres, retirement homes or simply families.
Democracy (Demokratie) in the context of the learning centre means that all those partaking in its services, whatever their age, will jointly fix the rules needed for everyone to feel free, secure and respected. During periodic meetings, these rules are reviewed and adapted, and conflicts between members are resolved. Also, proposals for the development of the centre are debated and voted on. Young members’ parents are involved as much as possible in the daily operation of the centre.
Mindfulness (Uechtsamkeet) points to the fact that the learning centre puts a lot of emphasis on conscious behaviour, including:
- observing, discerning and communicating one’s emotions
- listening to and caring for one’s body
- knowing and paying attention to the other members and their needs
- consciously seeing, feeling and respecting the natural surroundings of the learning centre
- looking after and preserving the material and tidiness of the learning centre
These aspects of mindfulness are exemplified with deep commitment by the learning assistants and are practised in the activities they offer.
Self-directed (Selbstbestëmmung) implies that the actions in our learning community are based on each person’s own reflection and decision. Everybody is responsible for how and with whom they spend their time. There are no time-tables or compulsory tasks (except those on which we decide together), and no predetermined classes or age groups. A main goal of the learning centre is the promotion of self-directed education, which means that nobody will tell you what to learn. Nor is there any evaluation or comparison save that which you make about your own progress. However, learning assistants will offer their support if needed, and will organize open courses and workshops on the subjects they adore.