IDEC/APDEC (International/Asia Pacific Democratic Education Conference) November 17th to 21st 2018

The 2018 APDEC will be held in Bengaluru (Karnataka), INDIA

Website: http://indec.net.in

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news august 2017

Coming Events!

International

IDEC 2018 India

It has been decided by the participants of the first ever InDEC that The International Democratic Education Conference (IDEC) and Asia-Pacific Democratic Education Conference (APDEC) will be held in Bengaluru (Karnataka), INDIA from 17.11.2018 - 21.11.2018. (http://indec.net.in)

Regional

Europe

EUDEC 2017 Paris

This summer, from the 19th to 27th August 2017, the annual EUDEC conference was held in Paris. Participants were invited to experience democratic education through open workshops, informal sharing, conferences and discussion. (http://www.eudec.fr/eudec-conference-paris-2017/)

EUDEC-Deutschland Treffen 2017

http://www.eudec.org/EUDEC+Deutschland+Treffen+-+Oktober+2017?no_bl=y
EUDEC Calendar of events: http://www.eudec.org/Calendar

Reports

IDEC 2017 Israel

Progressive thinking educators from around the world descended on Israel in early April. The occasion was the annual International Democratic Education Conference (IDEC). There were students and administrators, teachers and concerned citizens, all of one mind, each with their own approach.They all believed that education needs to change not just for today's students but for students in the future.

Delegates came from Finland and Swaziland, the United States and Taiwan and all points in between.They listened, they talked, they argued, and they became good friends. I was one of them. Even though this was my first IDEC, I was treated like an old-timer. I came with fears: that the sessions and delegates would be from non-English speaking countries and the language barrier would be too great for meaningful communication, and that since I was not on the program, 'Open Space' opportunities would be limited or attendees few. Neither fear was justified.Almost everyone at the conference spoke English. Some were less fluent than others but that did not deter communication. The 'Open Space' opportunities, coupled with some aggressive one-on-one marketing resulted in eight workshops and about 64 attendees.

When I plunked down about $2,000 for airfare, registration fees and housing I did it on the belief that it would be a worthwhile investment. The jury is still out but I'm already making plans for future IDECs.

There are many shining young stars on the horizon in the field of Democratic Education. One is Carlos Moreno who travels between his native Spain to South America and who presented the workshop: How can democratic education support and strengthen education for social justice at a 'global' level.
Another is Robert Clarke from Liberia who informed delegates about his effort to protect young women from sexual predators and other assaults in sub-Saharan Africa. Scholars and delegates were everywhere, there were seven one and one-half hour sessions taking place simultaneously,something was going on at almost every hour of the day.
Since I was giving a talk on Democracy for Life, based on my book, "Robert's Rules for Kids and Big Kids (RRAK)," I was concerned about the issue, should there be a preferred pedagogy that flowed into all schools. In the United States, some educators say they prefer 'site-based decision-making' others support 'best practice.' It was over that topic that I had my big, though civil, argument. The subject is likely to come up again - it wasn't resolved at IDEC.
As the author of a book, that I hope will be adopted worldwide, and as someone who has written that RRAK should be adapted to meet the wishes of the people it serves, I believe that a resolution of the debate would benefit education, long-term.

The father of Democratic Education in Israel, Yaacov Hecht, heard this debate. His focus now is Education Cities so it's uncertain what position he holds. Suggata Mitra, the scholar from India who advanced the idea of Computers in the Wall and self-education was a significant presence. Leaders in the field of education are grappling with the question, "how do we advance the democratic school movement when, as we heard from Henry Redhead from Summerhill, it is often under attack.
On the last day of the conference, someone put forth a motion to reduce the conference to a bi-annual event. After some spirited debate, the motion was defeated unanimously. Next year, IDEC will take place in India. followed by the Ukraine in 2019, England (on the 100th anniversary of Summerhill) in 2021, and Taiwan, which presented a spirited video, seeking a conference some time down the road. A vote on 2022 was tabled.

I have these conferences on my radar. They are likely to be that good.

Ted Weisgal

Selected article

A briefing note regarding SML College, Brighton.

One morning last October, two Ofsted inspectors arrived unannounced at the door of SML College, Brighton. Apparently a council employee, who had visited the day before, had phoned them to say that this was an illegal school and presumably he wanted the College shut down. The lead inspector spent some time quizzing most of the students on an individual basis. He asked about what they did and how the college was run, including times attended.The Chair of Governors, Dr Ian Cunningham, explained to the inspectors that the College did not have an imposed curriculum, it had no classrooms or formal lessons, no timetable, nor any other of the arrangements found in most schools. After the lead inspector had spoken to students he commented to Dr Cunningham that the College had, in reality, a very broad curriculum - its students were learning an extremely wide range of things. He clearly seemed impressed with what the students were doing.

After a couple of hours the two inspectors had a 10 min meeting to discuss what they had found. They indicated that they would be reporting back to the Department for Education to say that the College was not a school. Recently Dr Cunningham received a formal letter from the Department confirming the visit and the report from the inspectors; they had agreed that SML was not a school and therefore did not need to register with them.

Dr Cunningham said: "We are delighted with the result that has come from this event. We had always said that we were not a school but realised that we could be challenged on this. My view is that we provide an alternative to education not alternative education. In that education is associated with schooling arrangements clearly we don't do that and what we are doing is pioneering a notion of the centrality of learning. As the inspectors discovered, learning is driven by the needs of students and the results are quite different from what happens in a school."

Ian Cunningham, February 2017. www.college.selfmanagedlearning.org
ian@csml.org.uk. +44 (0)1273 703691

From the editor of the newsletter

This time the newsletter comes late, as expected and some events have already happened. Sorry for the delay, I have been very busy with work and with EUDEC-Hungary. (www.demokratikusneveles.hu). You can see a short film about a Hungarian democratic learning circle with English subtitles here (http://www.demokratikusneveles.hu/index.php/19-demokratikus-neveles/390-hungary-democratic-education)

We plan to make an interactive calendar for the IDEN web site and to give rights to a few people from each country to add, change or delete events.

IDEN Facebook Page is updated - Join to the group!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/744668629042215/

Peter Foti

 

 

Contact details

Peter Foti
Veltlinerstrasse 1/30
Guntramsdorf
2353 Austria

Email: peter.foti@idenetwork.org
Website: www.idenetwork.org/

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