De Ruimte is a democratic school for pupils from 2 to 22, which was founded in 2003. What exactly is democratic education and when did it first start? We will summarize it for you here, and more information is to be found on other pages of this website. You can read about our vision, or watch some footage. This will give you an impression of the school, but better still is to visit the school on one of our Open Days.
What is democratic education?
A democratic school is a learning community where decisions are being taken in equality and mutual respect, aiming for self-direction in students. Everyone in the school has an equal vote in all decisions taken, which allows for your voice to be heard in what you deem important. Through this equality everyone, young and old, learns to handle responsibility and realises that every choice has its consequences. To be taken serious creates an open and safe atmosphere, in which people feel free. This feeling of freedom allows for pursuing your passions and talents, reach your self-set goals, and sometimes make dreams come through that you deemed impossible. Through the activities students engage in, they develop the insights, knowledge and skills that will help them in life.
De Ruimte has evolved into a community aiming to support students in whatever way they seem fit to prepare for further life. Classes at De Ruimte are always demand-driven and in cooperation with the students attending. The school itself functions as a micro society with ample opportunity to practise skills and prepare for a self supporting life.
100 years of democratic education
Similar forms of democratic education have been around for a long time. One of the oldest is the well known Summerhill School, founded by A.S. Neill in 1921 in Suffolk, UK. Not much later Kees Boeke started De Werkplaats Kindergemeenschap in the Netherlands. In the sixties Daniel Greenberg founded the Sudbury Valley School in Boston, USA. Right now all over the world there are more than 200 democratic schools, supporting each other in organisations like the EUDEC and yearly conferences like IDEC.
More information: democratischescholen.nl