Introducing Clubhouse Democracy
Last week we introduced the idea of the Clubhouse. ClubhouseDemocracy is a term that Leonard uses to describe what he did in the Canadian state school where he worked. This week we are going to look at the way in which Clubhouse Democracy can be introduced to children.
I think this is of particular relevance to our Design a School project. Summerhill School has been running for a century and has an established tradition. Kids and adults come into the school and adapt to that strong culture. When you are starting a school, or introducing democratic classrooms, that is not the case. How do you go about it?
So the theme for this week is:
How do you present Clubhouse Democracy in the beginning?
We will need to look at Leonard’s experience in the state school classroom and how he adapted that experience to Summerhill’s Class 2. Then we will have to imagine our school, the one we are designing, and think how that experience will be applied.
Here are my questions:
Why did you feel it was necessary to introduce Clubhouse Democracy to your classroom? Can you tell us briefly what the situation was before?
I often hear you mention the word habitat. Was it necessary to think about the habitat before presenting the project to the children?
What exactlydid you say to the kids? It must have been novel and surprising to them. How did they react?
In the state school the class was the community. At Summerhill the school is the community. Did that make a difference to the way Class 2 worked at Summerhill School?
In the school we are designing we have to think about the levels of community. You have said that Veteran children are the best age to work with using the Clubhouse model. Will we have a whole school community? Or separate communities for different age ranges?
Will democracy have to be presented in a different manner to different age ranges?