The Agora Foundation
The Agora Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit endeavor, providing great books seminars and other educational opportunities to those who are busy with careers, families, and daily responsibilities yet are seeking to further their education without the commitments a return to school would involve.
The goal of these offerings is to provide an understanding of the ideas that shape civilizations and to promote civil discourse on complicated subjects. Generously funded by The Ahmanson Foundation, Southern California Edison, The Shanbrom Family Foundation, and private donations, The Teachers for Lifelong Learning program is an ongoing initiative training high school teachers in this engaging approach to learning, and The Ojai Chautauqua provides panels for a larger community.
Teachers for Lifelong Learning
We propose that a sound intellectual formation, one that helps the mind to think clearly about the most important things, can be obtained by bringing qualified seminar leaders together with eager participants in an approach to education that is at once centuries old but refreshingly new.
For nearly 20 years we have invited experienced seminar teachers from some of the best colleges and universities in the country to guide our programs. Our endeavor has been successful, with many teachers stating that the benefit of studying these great works within the context of the seminar method has changed their lives… changes that reach far beyond just intellectual development. These offerings have improved the way participant teachers work with their students.
The purpose of the Agora Foundation’s Ojai Chautauqua panels is to engage Ventura County in civil discourse about controversial and complicated subjects.
The Chautauqua was an adult education movement in the United States, popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Chautauqua assemblies expanded and spread throughout rural America until the mid-1920s. Since the beginning of the Ojai Chautauqua in 2014, the feedback has been extremely positive. Civil discourse is dangerously absent from many aspects of contemporary life. The result of this failing is not only sad… it is dangerous. If we can develop this essential ability in our students and teachers, we can begin to affect a positive change to many aspects of life that can extend far and wide.