IDEC 2010 will be held in Israel from 6 13 April. It will be run by the Institute of Democratic Education in Tel Aviv. The website for the conference is (broken link removed)
The conference will have three parts:
1. Tuesday 6th April to Thursday 8 April a conference including lectures by leading educators from around the world, an exhibition of unique schools and various tours.
2. Friday 9 April to Saturday 10 April open space weekend dedicated to the community of democratic schools.
3. Sunday 11 April through Tuesday 13 April educational field trips in Israel. The three-day Jerusalem tour will include a meeting with spokesmen from both sides of the Jewish-Palestinianconflict, and a visit to Hope Flowers School in Bethlehem.
If booked before January 15th
April 6 8: Adults $250, students $200, Under 12s $50
April 6 10: Adults $350, students $275, under 12s, $75
Booked between Jan 15th and March 1st
April 6 8: Adults $275, students $220, Under 12s $50
April 6 10: Adults $375, students $300, under 12s, $75
Booked after March 1st
April 6 8: Adults $300, students $250, Under 12s $50
April 6 10: Adults $400, students $350, under 12s, $75
The fees for the three days tours are yet to be announced.
You can register at (broken link removed).
The person to contact with any queries is Ayala Luyckx, firstname.lastname@example.org
The official Korean IDEC was cancelled by the organisers because of swine flu, but a smaller conference went ahead in spite of the risk. 70 80 people took part, of whom 21 came from outside Korea three from Canada, two from Germany, four from Israel, four from Japan, three from Taiwan. and five from the USA.
This is an abbreviated version of Moe Zimmerberg¹s report.
"The historians can debate for millenniums (at great institutional expense) about whether or not this was an official IDEC, but for me it was. It was the 2009 gathering of democratic educators, students, parents and NGOs and it was in Korea, and it was great.
The first 4 days were spent at the Gil School. We were well taken care of: Picked up at the airport, walked around the neighborhood to orient ourselves and fed free lunches at the local Buddhist Temple. We were also taken to some local markets in downtown Seoul, Dongdemun and Namdemun.
We visited four alternative schools in the Seoul area. The Mindule School started as a drop-in center for drop-outs (school refusers) and continues to be a resource for homeschoolers. The Haja Center has focused on media and the performing arts. We were treated to a performance of Brazilian music which so impressed me that I had to cut out during the Q and A to grab the musicians for a jam session. Music is a form of communication that needs no translation and builds wonderful bonds of connection across cultures.
The next day we visited two more schools before splitting up for dinner and shopping and returning to the Gil School to clean up.
We spent the next three days at the IDEC camp at the Jeonin School in Chuncheon City. Jeonin School is a boarding school; they hosted the international participants and the organizers, as well as students and teachers and parents from the Korean alternative school networks. I think around 100 of us were fed and housed.
We had a chance to make presentations about our schools, including our ex-student Maya Mascarenas¹ workshop on teacher evaluation. All the teachers had to leave the room while Maya helped the Korean students through an evaluation of some of them a first time for most of them! We also had a workshop on traditional Korean percussion. The San Children's School taught us how to play the instruments. This workshop was so popular that we split into 2 groups and performed for each other after learning a few songs.
We made IDEC history by adding international video conferencing to two of the sessions. It took us a while to work out all the technical bugs but it was great, especially during the IDEC meeting, to have the comments from Cecelia Bradley from Australia, Yaacov Hecht from Israel and David Gribble from the UK.
The students who organized for the 2009 conference really felt like the "rug was pulled out from under them" by the cancellation and wanted to have the chance to do a full-on IDEC in 2011. Unfortunately they didn't have enough support from other Korean organizations that night to commit. The decision, based on written or video application, will be made by former IDEC organizers, after fully experiencing the IDEC 2009 youth group's feelings. If a decision cannot be made by then, it will go to the 2010 IDEC in Israel in April.
The IDEC 2009 was organized mostly by teenagers. There was a suggestion to establish a global youth collaboration for preparing future IDECs from the perspective of young people. This seems to mean that the Korean teenagers who organized this IDEC are keen to connect with Israeli teenagers who might be interested in making sure that the adults don't completely control IDEC 2010 and disregard the kids.
After spending all this time together, the international travellers were enjoying each other so much that when the Gandhi school offered to host us for a few days we jumped at the offer. The most fascinating thing was the visit to the ancient city of Andung. Some of the students of the Gandhi School had a grandmother who actually lived in a house in this cultural museum and was a descendant of the Prime Minister of Korea some 500 years ago (that's one step down from the king). They've hosted the Queen of England, Bushes one and two and now, the foreign participants of IDEC.
The following morning we participated in a ceremony for a new building at the Gandhi School, complete with offerings and rice wine thrown to the 4 directions and a feast at the end.
I'm going to call this the end of the IDEC 2009. From here we split up and regrouped into smaller units and mostly toured around Korea. Lets call it 10 days of workshops, presentations, meetings, school visits, and cultural field trips. Sounds like an IDEC to me."
Mike Weimann has posted a collection of photographs at
http://miwe.org/bilder/ideckorea/ and added the following commentary.
"The first part of the picture gallery illustrates Moe's report; later on you see photos from our trip to Busan, the second largest city of South Korea, where we were invited by the Odada School. They showed us movies about their school trips, Reshef from Israel showed a documentary about his Givat Olga school, and we talked a bit about our school in Berlin. Some of us stayed as guests in Korean homes.
Meta and I visited another, very small school in the countryside near Bonghwa. They include meditation in their daily activities. Currently they only have five students and these students haven't been at the school but on a long-term field trip on Jeju Island, Korea¹s largest island, south of the peninsula. We were very happy to get an invitation to visit these students at their rural domicile. We talked a lot with the school founder, Kom Sang-bok, a former trade union leader, about the freedom and self-guidance of the students and their engagement with the arts. We learned a lot about the Korean school system and also about the nation¹s history.
We visited a smaller democratic school in the Jirisan mountains, where we made trip around a newly prepared hiking/walking trail which had been established by a Korean man, Mr. Hang, who had studied and worked for ten years in Germany. So he started to speak German! And explained that he had copied the idea for this trail from the German mountains, where trails like this are very common. And, surprisingly, his son was attending this small school Silsangsa - and he had taught there. A great coincidence!
Back in Seoul students from Haja school offered a guided tour through neighbourhoods which we (and tourists in general) would never have seen otherwise. These guided tours are a typical part of the school experience at Haja school; students develop very different skills by being with guests, explaining their town.
Finally Silbi took us (among other things) to typical state schools, which made the visit perfect. Not to be forgotten was a guided tour to the border to North Korea, where I personally stood on the territory, but only for three minutes and only two metres beyond the border, inside the famous building at Panmunjon.
The IDEC with all the above-mentioned events after the main programme was wonderful. The hospitality, and the engagement of so many, mainly young, people gave such a good atmosphere. From the video they had produced in advance to promote the IDEC in Korea you can see, how intensively they had worked. I've copied it into the internet, just to let you take part and to acknowledge the Korean IDEC hosts with applause:
The cancellation because of the flu was really a disaster for them. But we, the foreigners, could understand that they couldn't risk the damage to the still tender plant of the democratic schools movement in Korea. If there had been negative press coverage caused by a guest of such a school catching the disease, they would have to overcome many more difficulties than they have already. (By the way: we felt safer there, because at that time the number of swine-flu cases in Germany was increasing steeply.)"
The organisers for EUDEC 2010 are still looking for an affordable venue, but it is likely to be held in August in the south-west of England.