On the 13:2 Wednesday Podcast we looked at our Vision from Week 3 and reviewed the Themes of the first 12 weeks. We have gotten off to a decent start, but what should the next Themes be?

We talked about getting more practical. Into the nuts and bolts rather than a lot of theory. About focussing on the issues that our clients get confused by, misinterpret, get stuck on time and time again.

We identified a Reduced Curriculum and Qualities of Democratic Free School Teachers as areas that we have done a lot of work on previously … there are PDFs and Podcasts from way back when. Let’s go back through them, edit and cover those areas we said. Teachers connects to job descriptions, adverts, teacher application forms, interviewing prospects, teacher-student relationships; Curriculum deals with keeping the curriculum simple vs inventing your own or buying some new fangled expensive private one; it helps to satisfy Government inspectors. And we’ve created reduced curricula for client schools.

We considered a week on ‘What makes a democratic Community? ‘

After finishing five Themes on Clubhouse Democracy Leonard suggested a week on the design of the Clubhouse physical space in his own school, the state school and in his Class 2 Summerhill area. With some diagrams that might a be good architectural start. We haven’t done much architecture, and it’s very important.

Timetabling is was another possible theme. It, too, is critical. Then there’s Policy Statements and General Administrative/ Management Structure.

Leonard suggested a week on Books You Should Read.

And finally, we talked about ‘Pouring into the Structure’. Meaning ‘What Structure?’. We don’t mean architecture this time but rather the Structures of Freedom and Democracy? If you do enrol students and you do hire teachers and do have a curriculum what habitat are you ‘pouring’ them into? Will your 3D print- out work?

This, minus the printer, was a question that was asked in Athens; has been asked over the centuries. But one that Democratic Free School people have often overlooked in the rush to FREEDOM ! a rush to THROW OFF THE SHACKLES!

In the end we were undecided, but had set up some sign-posts. Stay tuned !

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