Democratic Education

Reunión Democrática

The entire espacio a community (teachers, students, staff) meet at Democratic Meeting once a week. Students and teachers can bring up topics, discuss conflicts, or initiate activities related to the entire community. Whatever issue requires consensus will lead to a vote where each community member can vote yes, no, or abstain. These meetings are conducted by a randomly chosen student committee that serves for one month. The committee is made up of a Leader, Facilitator, Notary, Time Keeper, and Usher.

Allowing students to be the drivers and designers of their learning has them engage with their curiosities, experience the thrill of acting upon them, and benefit from the knowledge they seek. Students are encouraged to be active citizens in the school’s community and participate in democratic meetings, continuously developing their leadership and communication skills. They also learn what it takes to coexist with others in a community of very different and complementary individuals. While each student leads their individual learning path, the community is continuously considered and consulted. Students begin to understand the school’s creed with time: In unity lies strength.

At the end of every semester, students engage in a process we call I Design My Learning Diseño mi Aprendizaje. Once a student has been placed in Math, English, and Spanish classes that fit their skill level (a2 and a3 students may choose to complete these courses independently), they have complete control to determine which other courses they wish to take. The school’s four pillars are naturally embedded and intertwined throughout their weekly schedules.

Once students leave espacio a, they are ready and willing to interact with their environment and positively contribute to their communities. Commitment, honesty, creativity, compassion, and self-discipline are skills they develop in espacio a that help them reach their goals while respecting and understanding the needs of others.