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Education for democracy

"We are slowly waking up out of our dream that we can do anything we want. We are starting to see that we are destroying our planet. That we have to drastically change. This is our greatest challenge ever in human history. We need the next generations to embrace this change. So in this new world, what is the purpose of education?" Simone Haenen


The future of education: Georges Haddad and Yaacov Hecht at the World Forum for Democracy 2016

The two keynote speakers come from very different worlds. But both agree that a revolution in education is required, with the self-determination of the individual – all individuals – at its centre. Video.

Wise young people

"These young people, they really don’t want to feel like victims: they really want to act and to instigate change." An interview to mark Human Rights Day.

SOLE in Argentina: the issue is how to create the right questions

The goals of the project were to reach low-resourced community schools with a new way of integrating ICT use for a sector of society that usually doesn’t have access to educational innovation.

Reinventing student government in Bolivia: Democracy In Practice

This initiative, selected as a finalist for the 2016 Democracy Innovation Award, took place in public schools in Bolivia and experiments with creative ways of reinventing student government.

'By talking to one another, we can learn to respect one another'

Anja Van den Durpel is Head of Integration Services at the City of Ghent, tasked with helping integration and soothing community tensions in the diverse Belgian city. Here's how she does it.

"If a poor child cannot come to the education, then education must go to him."

Interview with Sachin Joshi, pioneering educationalist from India, at the World Forum for Democracy 2016.

Notes from the opening plenary: towards teachers and students deciding on 20% of the curriculum together

“We say there cannot be two democratic schools that are the same. But you can find these four major rules in most of them.”

"In democratic schools I haven't seen any bullying at all."

"All the problems in education you can relate back to the coercion in schools. To me the forcing of children is really against the rights of the child."

So what is the purpose of education?

"After a year, in the fall of 2013, I wanted to investigate the possibility of working towards being Minister of Education."  Simone Haenen told her story at the World Forum for Democracy 2016.

"Any citizen should be able to open a school."

Ramin Farhangi in conversation with Rosemary Bechler and Arleen Pimentel at the 2016 World Forum for Democracy in Strasbourg.

"What is a fair and good way of measuring human rights education?"

Antonia Wulff in conversation with Rosemary Bechler and Kelly McBride at the 2016 World Forum for Democracy in Strasbourg.

Introducing this week's theme: Strasbourg's World Forum for Democracy 2016 asks how education can renew democracy

openDemocracy is partnering with the World Forum for Democracy 2016 to draw inspiration from a wide range of innovative grassroots and political initiatives worldwide, and kick-start the debate on what education can do for democracy and what democracy can do for education.

"If democracy is going to work, it's got to be practised in school as well as talked about."

Derry Hannam in conversation with Rosemary Bechler and Margarete Hentze at the 2016 World Forum for Democracy in Strasbourg.

US election special: an oD youth newsroom roundtable

27 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, we face a US president-elect threatening a wall of his own making.

'If you can read it, you can do it' - an interview with Moses Machipisa

The WFD programme provided a safe space for Moses in 2014. An openDemocracy youth reporter catches up with him two years on.

Revolutionary acts: an oD youth newsroom roundtable

“I am very scared of what is happening in Europe. We are always at the risk that our democracies will be lost”. Our openDemocracy youth reporters deliver their verdict on the second day of the World Forum for Democracy.

Knock, knock: is there room for Democratic Schools?

The Democratic Schools model has had a lot of impact at the WFD, but is it just a fad? Here’s a reaction from the openDemocracy youth newsroom.

Know your rights

Inclusive, democratic education means including refugee children too.  openDemocracy’s youth newsroom reports from a lab looking at immigration and education.

How do you think about the future, now?

Thinking about the future means accepting huge complexity. For democracy to survive, it’s a skill we must learn. A view from the openDemocracy youth newsroom.

What did you learn today?

The openDemocracy youth newsroom asked young participants at the World Forum for Democracy to share what inspired them, and what lessons they will be taking back home.

Humans of the World Forum for Democracy

"The problem is not with democracy, but with how the elites are practicing it": our youth newsroom went behind the scenes at this year's World Forum for Democracy.

Democratic schools and knowledge sharing: an oD youth newsroom roundtable

“Knowledge may not be enough. We may know a lot about democracy, but still be very bad at it.” Our openDemocracy youth reporters deliver their verdict on the first day of the World Forum for Democracy.

The colonisation of knowledge: an interview with Nora Bateson

"There is a ghost that we live with, and it's the ghost of colonialism. The ghost of the conquerors."

Making global citizenship education possible for refugees

Our students, learning about global values, become frustrated that they are unable to experience this world. Learning about diversity, they possess limited opportunities to interact with people from elsewhere.

“Together tomorrow” (Ensemble Demain): an intergenerational and intercultural programme of education

Together Tomorrow is an intergenerational project unique in Europe. It was selected as nationally innovative by the Ministry of Education in France.

Foreword to ‘Is segregation increasing in the UK?’ by Ted Cantle and Eric Kauffman

"This report, authored by two of our country’s leading experts on social integration, uncovers a picture that is more segregated by ethnicity than many of us have cared to admit."

Is segregation on the increase in the UK?

Can mixed communities and a shared society in the UK become recognised as a desirable objective, supported by a strategy and policy framework?

Schools to drive democracy change in Ukraine

The Ukrainian Schools for Democracy Programme will be at the World Forum for Democracy 2016, demonstrating how it supports democratic reforms in secondary education.

What UK-EU relations do we want and what is the 'good society'?

An interview with Catherine West, MP, secretary and co-founder of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on UK-EU Relations, scrutinising Brexit negotiations and pushing for a progressive relationship with our European neighbours.

Next steps in the democracy argument

Any engagement approach not focused on getting the widest possible range of voices, and creating multiple environments in which they feel comfortable will be no improvement on the current system.

Kosovo youth engaged in greater political participation - more still to be done!

“These platforms utilise the skill sets of young participants, enabling them to take initiatives that will contribute to the community and promote democratic values and participation.”

Fireflies shine brighter together

Vagalume means firefly in Portuguese and, like the fireflies, the organization went on an expedition all over the Amazon rainforest, implementing community libraries in remote areas and establishing intercultural dialogue.

Educating for democracy

"In education our duty is to... help people cultivate a desire to seek out truth and separate it from lies. This needs open debate, not closure." Interview for the World Forum for Democracy 2016.

7 steps to education for democracy for all

Education should be an engine for democracy and not just for business, argues Democracy Matters participant in the World Forum for Democracy 2016 in Strasbourg this November.

Chile: the philosophical question

The global trend against humanities is hitting Chile, a country where thousands of students regularly take to the streets demanding not only free but better education. Español

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