IDec - International Democratic Education Conference 2020
Updated: Jul 2, 2021
An amazing International Conference came to an end, leaving a feeling of unity in diversity, global connection, and a knowledge that change is in the air. This year the
IDec was to be hosted in Nepal, but due to the global lockdown a physical meeting was not possible. The organizing team at Sri Aurobindo Yoga Mandir, Kathmandu, decided to go ahead anyway and hold the conference online. For 15 days a fully specked program engaged participants from all over the world. We are grateful to have been a part of this!
The conference offered a platform rooted in shared foundational values, implemented through non-hierarchical organization in education, working for student driven learning, natural growth of the child, age-mixing, nurturing freedom, responsibility and independence. Inspiring and learning from each other, people from backgrounds of Integral Education, Montessori, Krishnamurti, Democratic schools, Sudbury schools, Summerhill education and many others offered their experiences and passions.
It showed that we are all one because our values are the same. Our different approaches are just different expressions of the same core, and therefore we can drive this movement together. In a time like now this global network is more important than ever. To know that it is not the name of the educational approach that we choose that is important, but the values that we base that education on.
When isolated in our own educational approach, school or county, we can feel alone in this work, fighting our way down an unknown path. Mainstream education has been the norm and has a strong centre of gravity in our society that makes it difficult to steer in a different direction. But mainstream education has fulfilled its purpose historically, and is now causing more harm than benefit to the peoples of the world and our shared planet.
A new beginning is around the corner. We don’t want to go back to putting our children through the same mainstream education that existed before the pandemic. Parents and educators around the globe are realizing the need for change, reconsidering what education should look like, and what values it should be based on. The lockdown has changed the world drastically. It shook us out of our old patterns, and forced us into new ones. To stop, think and feel. It’s time to reinvent education, and in that we do not stand alone but united.
For those who missed the conference, it is not too late to join the movement. A global network of change-makers are shifting the norm of what education is. Striving for a better humanity, a global consciousness, collaboration, equity, and individual responsibility.
The conference came to an end, but those participating know that this is only the beginning. Together we are the change.
Gratitude for all the sharing that happened, and the valuable talks by key note speakers from Nepal, India, Kenya, Germany, Netherlands, USA, UK, Belgium, Japan, Finland, Israel, France, Singapore, Ukraine, Sri Lanka, Canada and Taiwan.