IDEC2022@Summerhill Festival of Childhood

IDEC2022 will be part of the Summerhill Festival of Childhood which is being held from

5th – 10th August 2022.

An IDEC marquee is available and will be the venue for IDEC2022 related events, including Speakers and our usual Open Space sessions.

Each day will be organised by one of the DECs except for Friday 5th which will be a general opening day.

Saturday 6th will be hosted by APDEC

The two main speakers will be

Heather Yang from Taiwan and Monika Irayati from Indonesia.

Sunday 7th will be hosted by IDEC itself.

The IDEC Meeting will be held from 10am – 12 Noon.

Moe Zimmerberg from US will be one of the main Speakers  

Monday 8th will be hosted by EUDEC

The main speaker will be Henning Graner from Germany and Round tables organised by EUDEC members

Tuesday 9th will be hosted by INDEC – Speakers to be confirmed

Wednesday 10th will be hosted by Americas/AERO. Speakers to be confirmed.

Come and join us. Get you tickets at

A taste of the speakers.

Moe Zimmerberg was raised and groomed from birth to be a scientist or mathematician, but after graduating from MIT, he decided that life in a laboratory scrambling for grants was not for him. The next ten years included a lot of traveling, settling in Santa Fe, New Mexico, some failed teaching attempts, a failed marriage… At the point where everything fell apart and he started to put his life back together, he met Richard Testa. Richard was running a small school for teenagers in his home. It was non-coercive but had a curriculum. Two years later, after much expansion, a very skeptical Moe was an accomplice in transforming the school from a benevolent dictatorship into a curriculum-free, non-hierarchical, democratic school. Ten years later Richard died (at the school) and Moe, along with Iku Fujimatsu, went on to work at the school for the next 20 years. “I’ve learned a few things in those 30 years, plus working in a non-hierarchical organization changes you.”

Moe will speak about

What I’ve learned in 30 years of working at a democratic school

The transition from benevolent dictatorship to direct democracy. Sabotage, conspiracy, and fracturing. Networking internationally. Surviving the death of the founder. Building and maintaining a culture of kindness.

Heather Yang, a college student. Graduated from the Humanities School, (Alternative/Democratic school). Organizer of IDEC in Taiwan. Co-initiator of TDEC (Taiwan Democratic Education Community)

Heather will explore the question – Do I become a person who I want to be?

The explorational journey of my learning, and how the Democratic Education helps me rediscover my life.

Henning Graner grew up in a small town in Western Germany. He remembers his time in elementary school well, although he began to feel increasingly bored. The problems began in high school, where, contrary to all promises, he could not pursue his passionate interests – mathematics and science – but had to deny them. After finishing school, Henning asked himself what actually went wrong at his school and what needed to be done differently. Through the children’s rights group K.R.Ä.T.Z.Ä. he finally became aware of the Democratic Schools. From that moment on, he pursued two goals: to found a Democratic School and to make the idea of Democratic Schools known in Germany.

Today he works at the Netzwerk-Schule in Berlin, which he co-founded, writes articles and strives to develop a theory of Democratic Schools. He is a member of the EUDEC Council, where he is responsible for research and theory development.

Henning will talk about

Developing a theory of Democratic Schools

One weakness of the Democratic Schools movement is that it has not yet developed a theory of its own. That could be one reason why the Democratic Schools at the universities have so far hardly been noticed and play almost no role in teacher training.

The need for a theory of Democratic Schools arises from the experience that there are different understandings of what is meant by a Democratic School. These different views can be in contradiction to one another without either of them being “wrong”. There are different “interpretations” of one and the same idea: the idea of ​​Democratic Schools.

Such a theory would have to meet at least three requirements. Firstly, it would have to take up the problems, conflicts and contradictions arising from practice, make them accessible to a rational debate and point out possible solutions. Secondly, it would have to be compatible with neighboring scientific disciplines and thirdly, it would have to establish a connection to neighboring social fields of practice.

It’s time to develop a theory of the Democratic Schools! Here we go!

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