Sociocracy in Schools
“We are so happy to be using Sociocracy in our school with full participation in Member (children), Staff, Parent, and Board circles joined by a Community Circle. The kids are amazingly confident, free, happy people who are excellent communicators because of our weekly Change Up meeting, where we try out new practices one week at a time.
Sometimes our meetings end in tears because people have never experienced a workplace where every voice truly matters both in sharing feelings about how things are going and checking in with each other emotionally, and also in policy decisions such as paid overtime, staff hours, and how our governance works. Every time we ask for feedback on our processes, people share how clear and efficient our meetings are. There are still difficulties, as collaborative skills are not widely shared in the larger world, and we are starting from scratch with a lot of our parents and staff so training is necessary to bring everyone on board. We are still learning how to be clear about power and responsibility with roles and our circle structure. However, seeing the children lead effective meetings, make consent based decisions together, and check in about “good enough for now, safe enough to try,” it gives me hope for the future.
“I’m so glad to have found sociocracy- which is democracy, as it could be- to help with the subtle art of compromise.”
Hope Wilder, Pathfinder
For Entire Schools
How does one organize a whole school in circles?
Click through the images to see how others do it.
- Austin Waldorf school ( TX, USA)
- Arpego (Berlin, Germany)
- Pathfinders (US)
- LOS school (NL)
- Unico Schule (Bern, Switzerland)
- Rainbow School, NC, USA
Highlights of School-Related Resources
A wonderful, feature-length documentary about three sociocratic schools in the Netherlands.
A must-see for anyone who is interested in sociocracy and schools.
Produced by Marianne and Charlie from Wondering School.
General Resources for Learning and Implementation
All Education-Related Resources in Sociocracy For Al
On what basis do we decide salaries in sociocracy? Is it based on the sum of all roles? But how does that work? Or are there traditional “positions” in sociocracy too?
A presentation by Will Gowen. Two years of building student agency at a small public charter school in rural Michigan, USA. Learn about the first two years of a newly started public charter high school that attempted to utilize different democratic methods to give students voice and choice in their schooling. Eventually landing on sociocracy, this high school utilizes sociocratic methods both in the classroom and for school governance. Hear about our successes, challenges and opportunities for growth!
Presentation by Hope Wilder. Case study from Pathfinder in Durham, NC. How does consent decision-making work on the ground with ages 5-14? What does sociocracy look like when including the whole school community? Hope Wilder will discuss implementation of sociocracy in a self-directed learning community with Board, Staff, Parent, Community, and Member’s (children’s) circles.
A presentation by Andreas Jonsson. How can we integrate Sociocracy with Permaculture Design to get things done effectively and sustainably, and at the same time learn a lot? Andreas is a Permaculture Designer & Teacher. He works as a selected School Head Master at Holma – a school for Adult Education, which is run with Sociocracy and built on the Permaculture Ethics & Principles. It caters to around 200 students over the year.
Enkindle Village School is the first independent democratic school in North Queensland, Australia. Egalitarian in nature, the school is founded on democratic principles, with the belief that everyone affected by a decision should have a voice in that decision.
A school in North Carolina (USA)
What do Sociocracy and Montessori have in common?
The practical sociocracy handbook written by the co-founders of Sociocracy For All. 300 pages full of real-life support!
A project-based learning school that just started adopting socoicracy
A booklet for teachers who want to try out sociocratic elections with children. By Lisa Praeg
A permaculture folk high school in Sweden with a full mission circle.
(By Simona Zäh, Switzerland. Translated from German original) In my last blog entry, I pleaded for more self-determination in schools - and only in passing did I mention that one of the basic conditions for self-determined learning is participation. In the following,...
Andreas Jonsson is showing us around in a sociocratically run permaculture school in Sweden.
A presentation and interview with Gregory Rouillard on his take on sociocracy.
Presenter: Pascale Mompoint-Gaillard https://youtu.be/8wP030A_AtQ
ITW is a non-profit private school and the main ingredients of the operating culture are Solution Focused Approach, Nonviolent Communication and Spiral Dynamics integral extended by elements of Teal practices.
The Partnership for Undergraduate Life Sciences Education (PULSE) is a community of faculty leaders in the life sciences from higher education institutions.
We are a mix cooperative school (composed of working members and consumer members). We started working with sociocracy from the very beginning of the foundation of the cooperative.
We are a new democratic school opened in Townsville in 2019. We use a sociocratic school circle model from the ground up, from the development of the school through to initial implementation.
Circle diagram of the Unico school in Switzerland
A movement striving for a childcentered, playfocused, nonprofit primary education.
Case study: Learn to change is a Non Governmental Organization that brings together a community of teachers and educators working to support educational transformation for the benefit of building sustainable democratic societies.
Mindfulness first is a nonprofit that promotes mindfulness in schools and beyond.
Jarrahdale Primary School in Western Australia used Sociocracy to produce a restaurant evening featuring food cooked by the students from produce grown in the school garden. All students, including kindergarten and pre-primary, participated in at least one of the nine circles which formed a 3 tier structure.
Sociocracy in an international online community of education professionals for a democratic culture. Action research has been a powerful tool to develop Kaizen, a reflective stance, presencing and dialogue working with teachers, teacher...
LOS is a sociocratic school located in the small village of Duerne in the south of the Netherlands.
This case study features a homeschooling cooperative in Massachusetts (USA), after just having started out using sociocracy This case study is helpful if you are a volunteer organization with very flat hierarchy at the risk of burn out would like to get an...
This case study features a large permaculture school in Sweden.
Family meetings are a wonderful and easy way of giving (your) children a voice. In family meetings (just like any other time almost), they can learn what it means to be heard and taken seriously. If you have never tried it, give it a shot!