In Design a School Week 1 we are going to Blog and Podcast about
our reasons and motivations for doing this project
I guess my reasons for getting into democratic education are mostly negative. That means I don’t want to pass on my own experience of school. It certainly turned me into a rebel.
I don’t think it is either good or necessary to work within the system to bring about change. You know, a lot of people say you should work within the system and that it is self-indulgent to just reject it.
The problem is that options- small schools run by local people- have all been squashed. When the state imposed compulsory education in the UK, all the interesting small schools were closed. In Spain the Ferrer schools were hunted to death.
I don’t want a strong state or private system to tell me what to do. That makes me a rebel. I can’t really be anything else: that’s the ground I stand on.
I´m not interested in bossing kids around or moulding them. I want them to find their own ground.
Leonard – No More Inspiration
I was 24 when I started my own school and when you are young I think you tend to be driven, and are not so clear what you’re up to. I hated school as a kid so when I read Summerhill I thought I can do that, I’ll show my old teachers school can be better. I’ll show them.
I don’t think that’s a very intelligent way to start a school. It should not be from a negative. It should not be fundamentally driven by your own dissatisfaction. It’s something, in fact, everyone who starts a school needs to keep an eye out for. In themselves and others.
I want children to experience Freedom of Choice Of Action in Democratic Community.
I believe children, adults and the world would be better if more people had daily practice in all aspects, positive and negative, of freedom to create their own learning narratives, of freedom in a community of equals, of participation in democratic meetings, of a serious say in their working life.
Taken to adult level this is revolutionary. It might save democracy and democratic states around the world. So, I want to make democracy more direct and effective, democratic states and society more equality-driven and I want schools to help with this by offering millions of children a democratic free school education. This has never been attempted by any Western European government, ever. All the famous activists and activist movements have missed this.That’s incomprehensible to me.
I want to design transitional models. We can show them to parents and teachers, but also to people with money and influence. We want to refocus the present Democratic Education movement far away from inspiration. Enough with inspiration! It’s got us into a rut that will not change anything.
We need Activation Not Inspiration. So we are designing this school, making these podcasts, writing posts so that people will, in whatever situation they find themselves, be able to Activate themselves. They can either take small portions of what we say and show or big portions.
It’s time that we all put on our hard work hats and built something substantial. For children and for democracy.