About ADEC

ADEC (Australasian Democratic Education Community) is for all those interested and involved in democratic, progressive, and alternative education. It is for learners and educators regardless of age. It is for all in the community who seek to share and extend their experience and knowledge of such education. We welcome members of like-minded communities to our annual conference which is hosted by member schools.

ADEC provides a forum for inspiring learning communities, for discussion, debate, and research, a network for sharing and support and an incorporated association of like-minded individuals, schools, learning centres and education institutions working together on common issues.

We define our Democratic Education Community in the following ways:

ADEC promotes the use of democratic practices and decision making processes in schools, learning centres or wherever education is happening. Students, parents, teachers, staff, all participate in these processes.

Self- direction, self-determination and self-regulation, and a life long love of learning within sustainable communities are encouraged

ADEC supports and encourages dealing with conflict through dialogue and problem solving in a mutually respectful climate and refrains from using coercive and manipulative approaches;

supports and encourages opportunities for students to work at their own levels, rather than predetermined levels according to age and groupings which are multi-aged and provide a wider social perspective;

encourages a promotion of co-operation rather than competition. It emphasises personal relationships between learners and teachers which are mutually responsive and where there is reciprocity. It includes an awareness of and a breaking down of power dynamics. Teachers are learners/mentors/catalysts with the learner.

ADEC is inclusive and encourages mutually supportive partnerships between students, parents, teachers and schools within the context of democratic education including governance, funding, accreditation, registration, curriculum, changing culture;

has a celebratory attitude towards the gifts learners bring and all that learners are able to do and know about themselves becomes central to the learning process;

supports and encourages a learner-directed and learner managed approach and teacher intervention may be minimal at certain times and in certain areas;

“A system that depends on connection, on sustainability over a very long time, and one that recognises that each person, just like each plant or animal or micro-organism in an eco-system, is an integral part of the web of relationships. I propose a system that has biodiversity at the centre; one in which epistemological multiversity recognises the specialness of everyone wherever they come from; one which encourages the wild types to thrive, the wild child to laugh.”
Susan Hawthorne [2002] ‘Wild Politics’

“The time for freedom and absence of discipline was much earlier in life when a bit of rampaging could do no harm and children could learn that orderly behaviour ultimately arose out of living together and not from the the commands handed down by the authority of parents and teachers. Democracy could only spring from practising it early and democratic action was not to be expected from young people brought up under a close authoritarian system.Freedom given and understood early enough would result in the natural evolution to maturity and self-discipline.”
Dora Russell [1975] ‘The Tamarisk Tree – reflecting on the founding of Beacon Hill in 1927′

Our international democratic education links span the much of the globe including: IDEC & IDEN (International) EUDEC (Europe), AERO & IDEA (USA), and Politeia Democratic Education (Brazil), Japan, South Korea, Taiwan.

ADEC is having ongoing discussions with our colleagues in the Asia Pacific Region to build support and develop a regional framework as well.