A couple of months back we have started a small initiative, that we hope to turn into a registered charity soon. We needed a name and came up with this: Loki Education.
But this post is not about the name (it deserves it’s separate take!), I just wanted to give a short update and put a few things out that should be.
We (meaning mostly Natalja) now have done a great deal of research on how UK charities work, looked somewhat deeper on how people with aims similar to ours operate (I’m looking at you, Phoenix Education) and at various websites done close to what we want to build. It’s all very interesting and challenging – and we do move in small steps towards setting up our own small current in this ocean.
We’ll be using Natalja’s volunteering experience at HomeStart – and my experience in organizing and managing virtual teams of people around projects. We hope to rely mostly on volunteer work – and create a strong infrastructure of project-centric support groups in 2-3 years (that will overlap somewhat with EUDEC and other organizations and charities).
By the end of the year we should be established as a registered charity. It will take time and effort – but we do hope a year will be enough. But we won’t wait until it happens and will focus our work around volunteer-supported projects.
We don’t know how it will go, but we do know how it shouldn’t (pictured right —> ).
Here I wanted to post a short outline of those projects we’ll be working towards in 2014:
– Freedom-based education BOK project (Body of Knowledge) – a separate website dedicated to assemble a library of book titles and materials – independent information database that will bring more value than a regular books list.
– Monthly bulletin that will aggregate and publish relevant news, tweets, videos, everything what’s related and interesting (and public) in the world of (all) education – that will include democratic education too.
– We’ll try to assemble materials and maybe, with time – create a short, alternative education-specific version of UNICEF’s “Rights Respecting Schools Award” program that will aim to question UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CNC) compliance in alternative education (including democratic education, unschooling etc.).
– We’re working to launch some iPhone / iPad / Android apps for younger kids to have a quick self-check on freedom and child’s rights situation in their school or family.
And we have a few other things that we are not so sure of yet, because of their larger nature – those are rather dreams just yet.
We don’t have a ready plan for volunteering just yet – and we likely will not have it fully ready this year, but please feel free to write me: firstname.lastname@example.org or Natalja email@example.com – if you think you could dedicate an hour or two a month (or more!) to the cause of spreading and promoting freedom-based education. At the moment we’re in touch with ten people in total that are willing to donate small bits of their lives to it – and we’ll be happy to have you on board.
I have started to pull out and re-write / re-format information on eudec.org website, making it more usable and easy to understand for newbies and “external” (not so much involved) people and I have a draft list of things I’d like to get carried officially. I will finalize it and will put out my vision and a set of proposals on what I think EUDEC could do and how it could act – in the next month or so (grounded on the Vision 2020 document and my personal experience, mostly).
I will also follow recommendations for UK charities regarding transparency, member rights – even though those might be not ideal in the perspective of German law.
Of course the decision to “burn Giordano” could still be taken too (mostly because I question not only small particulars – but the core values system too, I think), but it won’t change much, except serve as a very evident proof of how intolerant to transparency and critical thinking the current EUDEC system is. I’ve been told already I can’t participate in my own “trial”, so I guess they will just send me a first class postage parcel with my cup of poison later on? We’ll see.
I’m also really wondering on how this coordinator hiring thing will go.. maybe there is a place for magic in the world?
Long term perspective
With a great surprise I came to the conclusion that many people working in democratic education don’t actually seem to expect it happening for real, at a large scale – anytime soon.
It is something that is very hard to understand coming from a commercial perspective – all the “go big or go home” mentality doesn’t fit with the “there are 70 schools in Europe” thing, instantly adding the “just 70 out of 140 000 schools in total” in my head. I would like to know more about what’s changing on the government level, how existing schools and existing teachers could be addressed by the democratic education community.
It is a thought to think further, but so far the main difference I see – is the difference of perspective. I myself see us more-less at a tipping point of rapid growth of adoption of freedom-tested methods in wider context – in Europe and in the world. Freedom in education – it just works. It makes perfect sense to me – commercially, rationally, from a humanistic perspective, human and child rights perspective. It is not something I believe in – it’s just something I rationally find to be the best thing available out there. I want to help communicate it, explain it and showcase it to others in a longer term perspective.
I think it’s time. We had women rights movement – now a solid reality. We now take care of animals and the planet much more than we ever did. We had gay rights movement to had their win for the most part of the civilized world, just recently. What is the next logical step here? We live in a more-less rational world, I don’t buy all the pessimism out htere.
I think it’s long overdue to have a massive, tectonic shift in the mindset of the whole world – regarding kids and education. And I don’t find it marginal or small or even “alternative”, really. It’s just something that is going to happen, everywhere, soon enough. And it’s something I’d like to be a part of.
So, just a small notch on the wall for myself, mostly.