Freeing the school: Escuela Libre de Soria

"El aprendizaje es la actividad humana que requiere la mínima manipulación de otros, el mayor aprendizaje no es el resultado de la instrucción, es más bien el resultado de la libre participación en un ambiente lleno de significados". 

                                                                                                                   Ivan Illich

This fall, a new free school was begun in the Soria region of spain.  With limited financial resources, but great desire and passion, the school started modestly enough, but with ambition.  It now seeks support through a crowdfunding initiative.  In solidarity, we support this and all efforts to free ourselves from State-Capital.  For those who can, this news and the call for assistance is to be shared as broadly as possible.

From the school's blog, follows a translation from the spanish of the justifying statement of the school …

 

Who are we ?

We are a group of persons interested in free education; we are constructing a project of free education in Soria.

This educational project emerged from the interest of a group of families who wished to offer their children a different education, assuming with it the full responsibility for their education.  From this group, three mothers initiated the school through a process of accompaniment that they called “rotating mothers”.  Since September, 2011, over the course of a week, the three children would rotate between the three homes of these three families.  Three teachers joined this initial group and direct or indirect contact is maintained with other families who are interested in the project.

Our vision is that of an open project that is constructed from day to day, in the interaction between all of the people who participate and who have made the school an important and indispensable part of their lives.  We seek to change the conception of education that is commonly held demonstrating that it is possible for families to organise themselves such that they take the task upon themselves.  For this, we wish to create a space in which children can develop themselves freely and diversely, beginning from their own necessities and desires.

We want a space where one may delay and listen to oneself, establish one’s own necessities and priorities of learning without having to adjust to established models and fixed times.  For what interests us above all other objectives is to respect their unique and special being and their way of learning.  Their desires before our expectations, we will offer them the tools that they call for and respond to their authentic necessities, from a confidence in their development, presenting ourselves before them with humility, without authoritarianism, freeing ourselves from prejudices and judgements of value, demonstrating to them our faith in them.

We will be models of tolerance, of effort and desire to live fully.  We will be observers and at the same time facilitators of their life experience; this latter will teach them unforgettable and authentic lessons, allowing them to forge their dreams … that they master their vital projects, so that they choose who they wish “to be” in responsible freedom and not imposed fear.  We will not permit the moulding of their essence, of that wealth which they possess: spontaneity, freshness, imagination, intrinsic goodness and great generosity.

This is our greatest motivation: the future of a new generation without prejudices, without any fear to learn what is new, that is cooperative, who benefit from and find joy with that which they do.  We always say that all work is important, but “we do not think it” and we undervalue that which is not academic.  For this change in mentality and to let them develop themselves with that which fulfils them, we are here today to defend a free school.  

 

What do we want?

To change the present model of society accompanying a new generation of children who will be educated in respect for themselves and for what surrounds them, be it human, natural or social.

To create a future that will allow people to develop their potential in the domain that they elect and that gives meaning to their lives, and that all of this diversity be shared in mutual cooperation, from the hand of inimitable and unique persons, responsible and committed, rich in human values and spiritual peace, sure of themselves, joyful and fulfilled.

 

The crowdfunding campaign, with further information about the school, can be found at the following:

http://goteo.org/project/escuela-libre/home

 

 

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