The 10th European Democratic Education Conference took place in 2028 in Korfes of Heraklion, Crete.
For 8 days we created a democratic community where everyone, no matter their age, gender, profession, language and nationality, spoke freely and exchanged information on the social, cultural, economic and educational reality s/he experiences.
In an inclusive, free, cooperative and democratic environment we created and empowered friendships and partnerships and left with new concerns, hopes and knowledge.
‘’Explore, exchange, enjoy education" was the title of the Conference and that's exactly what we did. -
The EUDEC Conference is a condition where all ages have full voting rights. It is a situation where ages are not systematically differentiated and separated.
It was very important for us to soak up the potential of this condition and share what happens when it is safeguarded
The Conference was for us a celebration of equity in practice.
We tried to create a group of speakers and a variety of topics that would bring together projects and people who represent education according to the principles of democratic education both in Greece and abroad. We wanted to open a dialogue on minor’s rights in relation to their education and to connect education with social organization and the potential of social emancipation. Our goal was to create a group of speakers of different ages, nationalities and approaches to learning.
- Students of Demokratische Schule X provided an experiential Beginner’s guide to Democratic Education
- - Anastasia Vafea was unfortunately due to health reasons absent, yet her presentation "The long way from Democratic Experimental Schools to Democratic Education" was made by Aspasia Kalisora Aspasia Kalisora who also presented "Experiences of children in a democratic class (Elementary School of Argyroupoli, Rethymno) & Freinet Pedagogy in Greek public school"
- - Rachel Roberts presented "The (impossible?) art of being human and not influencing others"
- - Derry Hannam spoke to us about the "4th industrial revolution, innovation and social inclusion - Why we need democratic education! "
- - Freya Aquarone shared her unorthodox educational journey.
- - Nariman Moustafa talked about Agile Learning
- - Angelos Patsias spoke about "Another education, starting tomorrow!"
- - Zoe Burgess spoke about "The importance of personal choice"
- - Yaacov Hecht shared his ideas on "Democratic Education 2.0: the global shift from a Pyramid Paradigm to a Network Paradigm"
- Representatives of Mikros Dounias spoke about "Managing Discrimination within Community: Recognizing & Fighting Adultism "
- Representatives of Mikro Dentro Little Tree) spoke about "Managing Discrimination within community: Gender, body and sexuality in childhood "
- - Nana Chatzi talked about "Summerhill School: Its Message to the World"
- - Peter Hartkamp talked about "Children are also humans: Human Rights in a Sudbury School"
And that was only a part of the conference!
Along with the keynote speeches, the main part of the conference was the Open Space workshops, discussions and games..
These occurred spontaneously or were organized beforehand. All the participants, no matter their age, could offer and/or request workshops and activities.
Every day there was so much happening we were running to keep up... You really couldn’t decide what to do first. The experience of having such an abundance of offerings for all tastes, was incredible.
As part of the Open Space and throughout the conference, we also run EN EUDECArtists and educators from all over Greece offered workshops, performances and other events for all ages. Through these activities we experienced what democracy is from the perspective of young citizens who normally have no say, what happens when their voices are heard and what role art plays in all of this.
It is almost impossible to mention the topics discussed because over 100 talks, presentations, film screenings, discussions, performances and workshops took place!
Here you can get only a taste, as all the gaps you see in the online program were more than filled during the conference.
350 participants from 26 countries attended the conference: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Costa Rica, Denmark, Germany, England, Estonia, France, Finland, Ghana, Greece, Israel, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Pakistan, Poland, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey and Ukraine!
Among them, over 70 children and 80 Greek teachers of all school levels, giving hopeful promise for the future of democratic education in our country. In the context of the conference the EUDEC Annual General Meeting was also held.
In the months that followed we organised: A conference for the implementation of democratic education in today's Greek schools (Feb 2019), the founding general assembly of the first association for Democratic Education in our country 'Syn-paideia' (Education Plus), "Education Plus" and Spring Academies.
EUDEC 2018 met its objective of offering participants the experience of what Democratic Education and its Community are..
We had our minds set on offering awareness as an experience beyond philosophy and academics, beyond hoping and dreaming. We achieved this.
Here is a ‘’mantinada’’ (Cretan poem) that Maria Menegaki and Ioanna Spiliopoulou wrote and presented during the last evening of the conference:
We gathered from the corners of the earth
To dream of schools that are free To talk and to meet and together
to write what could be history.
We thank Korfes in the mountain, the hospitable village we're at,
that as of today will have a special, warm place in our heart.
May we all meet again at the oak tree to drink like tonight, to reflect
to join our forces together and, above all, to be free.