The missing part in the puzzle called a democratic state
The missing part in the puzzle called a democratic state
Yaacov Hecht founded the Democratic School of Hadera in Israel in 1987, the first school in the world to call itself democratic. He then helped to establish a network of democratic schools all over Israel. In 1993, he convened the first IDEC (International Democratic Education Conference). Shortly after, Hecht founded the Institute for Democratic Education in Israel (IDE), and within it, the academic faculty for DE teachers. His book “Democratic Education: A Beginning of a Story”, which has been translated into English, Portuguese, Bulgarian, and Korean is a source of inspiration for groundbreaking educators and entrepreneurs all over the world. Yaacov regards the preparation and directing of the educational system toward the future as his main mission today.
Collaborations between the ideas/schools of the democratic education movement and progressive practices in public/state school systems around the world.
How can we make them happen more quickly and more effectively?
Derry Hannam was a state head teacher, principal of an English secondary school, and a long-term school inspector in the United Kingdom. He studied educational science at Oxford University and is a consultant, researcher, and advisor to the Council of Europe and the governments of the United Kingdom, Malta, and Finland in Education for Democratic Citizenship (EDC). At the request of the English ministry of education, he authored the ‘Hannam Report’ based on research that demonstrates associations between democratic, participative, student-centered methods in schools and higher academic results, less antisocial behavior, and better school attendance, especially for students from economically and socially deprived backgrounds. His time and efforts are directed toward creating a dialogue between the democratic education movement and state or public school systems, a role that he has played in Finland, Puerto Rico, The Netherlands, Bavaria, and, most recently, Spain and Poland.
Staff education and training
Society and culture in a democratic school differ from those outside and from academically oriented schools. Staff training in the democratic school is important to create and maintain this culture and prevent the school from becoming something else.
The founder of Diablo Valley School in California, USA has more than 30 years of experience working with children and more than 20 years with free education, supported by 30 years of knowledge and experience in human learning processes.
In 1992 he read an article written by one of the founders of Sudbury Valley School and realized that the educational system they were promoting is very supportive of the process of learning. This is when he and his wife started the process of creating DVS (Diablo Valley School) based on the Sudbury model. The school opened in January 1997 and they were staff/teachers there until 2005. During that time Ofer was in charge of training new staff, and they also spent a lot of time educating the parents about all aspects of democratic education.
– Communication and conflict resolution;
– Separating teaching and assessment;
– Against Critical Pedagogy and the Marxification of education.
Yoav graduated from the democratic school in Hadera (Israel) 4 years ago.
In 11th grade, he taught himself nonviolent communication and instilled it in the school’s conflict resolution committee.
He was a very active and engaged member of the school community, trying to improve the processes and contribute to them, by the inclusion of more practices and approaches that are humanistic.
Inspired by the school, he also started working in education.
Currently, he is working and studying computer science at the same time.
Known in coaching circles as a certified and ICF-accredited professional coach and as a mentor/coaching trainer.
A value to Teddy is diversity, being able to understand (different) personal points of view, “translate” them, even in the same language, helping people communicate effectively, and building bridges of peace and understanding with others. She will share her knowledge of the benefits of mentoring and coaching in education.
Nature, and my understanding that we are part of it, is the way I have chosen in my life. I began discovering informal education and facilitation in 2007 and since then they have unfolded in my professional and personal life as a veterinarian, volunteers coordinator, conservation activist, youth worker, project leader, outdoor camp instructor, trainer, co-founder, team member, woman, daughter, sister, wife, friend, healer, and as myself. Facilitation is a life skill for me and a big part of my path. I believe that learning the skill of facilitating ourselves – making space for ourselves, our experiences and processes, and our learning is part of unfolding professionalism in working with groups and processes.
I love my work!
Love, freedom, and more… the extraordinary in Suggestopedia as a humane educational system for primary school students and teachers
Teodor Vasilev is an entrepreneur, educational expert, and innovator with more than 10 years of experience inside and outside the education system. He is currently working on developing alternative educational models, methodologies, and programs, as well as training teachers. In 2011 Teodor studied Suggestopedia under Prof. Dr. Georgi Lozanov and Vanina Bodurova and this becomes one of the missions of his life! Graduate in Gaming in the United States, ICAL Certified Accelerated Learning and Design Educational Teacher. Teodor’s portfolio also includes teaching history, social work, facilitation of community processes, coaching, and more. As one of the founders of the National Youth Forum, he acts to develop the training capacity of the organization, where he establishes and directs the NMF Training Unit in the period 2013-2015. In 2015 Teodor delivered a series of hearings through the European Parliament on “Transforming education systems in Europe”.
Introducing restorative justice into education, in the schools and among children.
Elena Evstatieva held various positions at Prison Fellowship Bulgaria between 2000 and 2016. She joined as an external specialist and worked with convicted prisoners and prison staff within the organisation’s programs. From 2009-2013 she was a member of the Advisory Working Group supporting the consolidation and development of Prison Fellowship International member organisations for Eastern Europe and Central Asia. In 2012-2014, she led the PF Bulgaria team involved as a partner in the creation of the European Communities of Reconstruction (ECOR) model.
In 2007 – 2008, after specializing in the International Program of the Centre for Restorative Justice at PFI and Kingston University, Toronto, Ontario, she obtained an International Diploma in Restorative Justice with the dissertation “Historical Preconditions for the Development of Restorative Justice in Bulgaria”.
Her practice in the restorative justice field includes training in restorative practices, facilitation of victim-offender restorative conferences, facilitation of circle process, and facilitation of family group conferences.
Elena is also a psychodrama therapist and group dynamics trainer.
Democratic school in Sofia and My leap of Freedom
The Magic of The 5 AM Club
Mishel was a student in a democratic environment (The Democratic School in Sofia) since he was 11 years old, where he first learned to express himself, and later on, that was the place he first learned that “with great freedom comes great responsibility”.
Early on he was especially proactive in the conflict resolution committee, where he successfully adapted a system that seemed fairer for everyone.
When he was in tenth grade a group of parents decided to unroll their children from the school, (which ironically included him and all his friends). But he didn’t want to lose the connection that he had with the school.
So he decided to attend it as a volunteer and started a board games class and a programming class with the idea of “learning by teaching”… A year later the community decided to make him an official teacher.
Another year has passed since then and now he is teaching: Programming, Japanese Culture, and Entrepreneurship, while he is pursuing his goals in order to make his dreams a reality.
Design thinking in education
Lachezar is teaching teachers and educational leaders at two universities in Bulgaria (New Bulgarian University and Plovdiv University “Paisii Hilendarski”). He has rich experience in international projects, mainly focussed in Europe, searching for principles and tools of meaningful learning. His mission is to support the mainstream education system in embedding new ideas and practices such as human-centered design, coaching, and systems thinking. Lachezar is a co-founder of Social Innovators Bulgaria, an organisation supporting individual and civic organisations in implementing their community-oriented projects. He is also part of the management board of Modern Education Foundation, dedicated to building and sustaining the bridge between the world of employment and education providers.
Visual Thinking Crash Course
Yes, you can draw!
Using simple hand-drawn images to think sharper, learn faster, and communicate with ease
Svetla is a dedicated training professional in the field of (visual) communication for various companies, educational institutions, and NGOs. Her focus is empowering people of diverse professional backgrounds to use the language of simple hand-drawn images as a thinking, learning, and communication tool. With her work, she is not only teaching individuals of any age, profession, and background how to draw symbols, people, and processes, but she also intentionally opens up a non-judging space where everyone can get in touch with their inner creative resourcefulness.
Svetla holds a Master’s degree in German studies and is a certified trainer in Suggestopedia (teaching and communication method by Prof. Dr. Georgi Lozanov aiming at unleashing the hidden potentials of the human brain).
2020-2022 Svetla took part in the Golden Ratio Teaching project within the Erasmus+ framework where she supported a number of schools in Europe to start using drawing as a learning and teaching tool.
Curious about people and getting to know them, Kalina has a Master’s degree in HRM, Sociology and is a certified adults trainer. Her focus is creating learning experiences that enable learners to explore their personalities and behavior, so they can connect to their true values and create the reality they wish to have. She works with people to encourage them to trust themselves, learn from the experiences they have, and take responsibility for their own personal and professional development. Kalina is looking forward to any opportunity to collaborate with fellow trainers on studying and designing learning experiences.
Since she has been drawing together and separately with Svetla, Kalina would say of herself that she sees the world in color, interaction, and interrelationships. Kalina is currently entering the vast world of data visualization, making it easier to understand and interpret data.