Children may ask questions, but they do not depend on our answers. They discover the world and the self, they listen to an opinion without identifying to it, and they don’t stand for this or for that. They rather move on to the infinite existential game, an everlasting journey to self-knowledge, which guides them through understanding and is based on free choice. There is Grace.The more we intervene, unconsciously most of the time, by endlessly urging children to reproduce our adult world, the more we force them to hit the same dead-ends, as we do.
We, adults, have some rather distorted beliefs. We have convinced ourselves and each other that the irrational is rational and “that’s the way it is”. Beautiful, great words mixed with gibberish; the unwillingness to think and to act; the wounds, the questions, the feelings of guilt. All of these are bricks in the walls that separate us from ourselves, each other and our children.
We sustain these walls. We keep on building them. We are losing focus from our selves, and so, we are missing the point. As we cannot see clearly around or within us, we end up creating psychological and social structures that do not serve us, do not support us and do not inspire us. We assume that we “know” and that is a problem, because all we do, in the end, is preaching.
Why should Education change its course?
If we take a closer look at the conditions and beliefs that determine our lives, we will see that we are in need of a new beginning. We are in need of different choices in politics, in health, in the co-creation of the social web or of every day. The advantage, in the case of Education, is that children, as far as their soul remains intact, will instinctively react against unconscious choices and inauthentic behaviour. They refuse to consent to our distorted perception of things, and they urge us to start seeing clearly.
Changing course in Education means that we get to choose differently on all levels. We get to taste freedom and joy. We get to stay open to the calls of the heart, offering ourselves the potential, and our children the opportunity, to grow both upwards and inwards. And so, well rooted on the ground and mindful, they shall spread their wings.
The Democratic School…
…that we envision does not follow the current educational model, which is an incubator of hierarchies and implies a conformism to arbitrary rules. It rather embraces a differentiated and supportive environment where children of mixed ages can explore themselves and the world freely, following the path which they define. Languages, Maths, Astrophysics and Biochemistry, Arts, Dance and physical exercise can be available to them at the right time, along with the skills of co-existing and mindfulness.
Ideally, the school is the center of an agricultural/artistic/scientific community, where people, young and old live together and co-create in harmony. By extending the principles of self-determination and co-operative decision making to life in general, we create learning environments where we witness an upsurge in comprehension and inspiration. And we are constantly surprised by how limitless our growth can be!
We only claim what is ours: The right, as parents, to choose what kind of education we will offer our children. Our vision is to create an educational model where humans learn the art of living a Good Life, beyond social stereotypes and without prescribed answers. A model that allows and supports exploration, guided by curiosity, creativity and imagination.
This is an invitation for all parents, educators and other co-travelers on the journey that is education, who would be interested in creating official or unofficial educational structures. Get in touch with us, so that we all contribute in making a difference.