Basically, a democratic free school is a school where students’ innate drive to learn is trusted and they are almost entirley free to determine how to spend their time and pursue what interests them. The democratic part refers to the fact that, at least in our case, all school rules, policies, and spending is controlled by direct democracy at the School Meeting where each student and staff member have one equal vote.
Students learn how to identify what matters to them, how to work for it and advocate for themselves, manage distractions, understand their own learning styles and challenges, and face the real consquences of their decisions and the decisions of the school community.
I’ve been working at our school for about three years and it has been amazing to see kids grow and to watch as their confidence and sense of responsibility for their world grow.
Right now we are a small group of probably fewer than 100 schools worldwide. I’m hoping that this course will help me better support our students as they work at discovering what they want to do and how to do it and also help me communicate to nervous parents the power that trust and supported freedom can offer to even very young students.