Most of us agree, different is beautiful. Yacoov Hecht definitely agrees on this. He founded the democratic school in Israel in 1987. This movement of democratic education currently has over 1000 democratic schools in 50 different countries. But how can we achieve a new education system where different is seen as beautiful?
The democratic school is an educational system that defies the traditional one. In traditional school systems, they want everyone be the same. Hence, they do not innovate and according to Hecht they prepare us for the past. The aim is to study on the basis of human rights instead of culture and this results in studying in a universal mode. Whereas culture-based education creates a gap, democratic education bridges the social divide and as a result, bring us closer together. Below is a short clip where Yaacov Hecht talks about democratic education.
While we are calling the society we live in a democratic society, we are missing an essential link. Namely, democratic education (Read more here). We have to stimulate students to be active learners and not passive learners. I, amongst many others, see technology as a massive driver, the time is there for a renaissance in education. Consequently, we have to keep the human component of education, where teachers are not replaced by robots. In addition to the human touch, the democratic school offers personalised learning, where different students from different ages and backgrounds learn together. They have a concept called ‘Classroom 2.0’, where the students have an equal voice to that of the teachers. They have the choice of how, when and why they learn.
There is a shift in the educational paradigm. We want to make it better. Thus, to make it better we need to change it. According to Hecht, it is an important time to recognise what we are doing and start and stimulate the revolution of education. I acknowledge that we are not born with necessary competencies that enable us to be committed, engaged, responsible and respectful regarding democracy. Furthermore, I see that the challenge lays in where we can gain these competencies that will help us to be active and engaged participants in our society. In order to succeed in this revolution, we need to share and walk the walk together.
I believe that redefining educational boundaries with democratic schools is a cool initiative for the future generations. Do you?