非主流台灣:最新公告

Welcome to the 2010 Guerilla Girls Blog! We are the Guerilla Girls! We are 13 Hao Ran Foundation volunteers (all females!) and we will soon get to deploy our wings in different countries of the world to work with various non-governmental organizations and social movements as a way to reinforce social justice and solidarity. We wish to open communication and share our experience with the rest of the world, because we strongly believe that ‘ANOTHER WORLD IS POSSIBLE!’ Read More

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2011年7月25日 星期一

July Report- “Democratic education” and the community empowerment through Zigen’s work in China, can it be real?


By Huei-Jen Lin

Introduction

IDEC (International Democratic Education Conference) 2011 in UK had just finished in the middle of July. It contained around 300-400 representatives of schools and organizations from 29 countries which are doing things related to the theme of democratic education. “Education based on respect for human rights”: Protecting the right for children”, “right to decision making”, “right to learn”, and “right to be equal”; “Pluralistic education” and “dialogic relationship” ,all are the key words for the principles of democratic education that often shown on the discussion of the conference. Driven by the different types of schools and organizations according to the different political and societal circumstances, democratic education has been practiced into various areas: alternative schools, normal state schools, communities where locate at the suburb or poor rural areas and the governmental regulation of schooling. Those practices have created a different kind of learning environment which is apart from the normal educational system—a pyramidal structure, a kind of elite education. Quote from the speech of Israeli educator and also a pioneer of democratic education, Yaacov Hecht; the main aim of democratic education movement is to break down the pyramidal structure, to release the educational resources and professional authorities from the top. Then the educational system should be looked like a net, which means any person with any profession could be a teacher, and also be a learner through the rather equal learning network.

Pic1: About 29 countries participate in


Pic2: Open session









Pic3: Parliament



This idea in a certain way quite fits to what Zigen is trying to do, creating a kind of learning environment in the rural areas and migrant groups at the suburb areas. The main purpose behind this action is to empower the disadvantaged groups including the children, women, the elders and the migrant workers. Raise people at the lower class to have a sense of the right to learn and the confidence to participate the public affairs. However they just started at the very beginning, and have to be very careful of the governments’ attitudes. The essential of democratic education or in their words: everyone can learn and everyone can teach, hasn’t become a real existence within their actions. Besides, I quite doubt that whether their action road will lead to the essentiality of democratic education because of their cultural habits of collectivism and the belief to authority of communism. They may rather more focus on the class problem, in opposition to the capitalism.

On the other hand, for the long-term relationship with IDEC, the “Holistic school” in Taiwan where I had worked for had been involved within the thought of democratic education and been initiated under the background of democratic movement of Taiwan in 1990s. Though the school’s starting idea of subversion to the authority of education system was more welcomed by the middle class, its 16 years’ practices in fact deepened the understanding of power relations between teachers and students, adults and children, and among the people in the different social classes.
As attended this conference, my experiences from the both sides therefore deserved to be communicated with those schools/organizations from the other countries.
(To be continued)

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