PAPOULA

  1. HOW DID YOU EXPERIENCE DEMOCRACY?

There was a lot of democracy, maybe too much. The schedule is very flexible; activities are focused on the children´s feelings. Children could choose freely what they want to do. Teacher is there for the kids more observing than leading. Child-initiated activities and creativity are emphasized. Each child is important. The teachers respect their emotions. Afternoon meetings are held to resolve conflicts and teach conflict resolution skills. They teach the children how to make decisions themselves. Guidelines are created together by the group, reviewed and updated every 6 months.

  1. HOW DID YOU EXPERIENCE LITERACY?

Children looked for answers themselves. Interactive materials, children discovered by touch, smell, feelings, other senses. Children play and have lots of action during the day. Children can learn by reading books or by being outside exploring. See literacy in the classroom materials, in exploring the environment, and in outdoor education. The children learn by experience. The children liked the typewriter.

  1. WHAT CAUGHT YOUR ATTENTION REGARDING THE TEACHER´S ROLE?

Teacher is partner for the child, lots of communication between them. They didn´t like to be called teachers, but guides. Teacher is more of an observer and guide than a teacher/leader. Teacher observes, prepares materials, and assists the students.

  1. WHAT CAUGHT YOUR ATTENTION REGARDING THE CHILDREN´S ROLE?

Children are partners with the teacher and there is lots of communication between them. Children can choose what they want to learn about. The projects are decided by and crafted around what the children are interested in. Children are the center of the school.

  1. IS THERE A PARENT´S INTERVENTION NEEDED?

There is already a lot of parental involvement, probably don´t need any more. The parent´s involvement is total in this situation. Life outside of school is education as well, so parents see themselves as teachers and see their home as a classroom too.

  1. HOW COULD PARENTS BE INVOLVED (OR MORE INVOLVED IF THEY ALREADY ARE)?

Parents are less involved now than they were while the school was special, they organized the school and were in charge. They want it back like it was before it was a public school. They have mixed feelings and disagree about the new system, but they all want more parent involvement and less traditional ideas integrated. Parents want children to learn from the experiences of their parents. Parents spread the word to other parents about the school, and encouraged other parents to consider the school as well. Parents are very involved. Parents are encouraged to be involved by paying money and donating time to the school, which gives them a sense of ownership in the school system.

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