This is an amazing book that tells the story of De Werkplaats Kindergemeenschap basisschool (Children’s Community Workshop), a school founded by Kees Boeke in 1926 in the Netherlands. De Werkplaats is known as the first implementation of sociocracy – yes, in a school! 😮
Kees applied the Quaker ideas to education which involved making decisions with the children through consensus and, surprisingly, also through consent! The book really takes the reader into the school environment. It’s even more involving after visiting the schools for the #schoolcirclesfilm – De Werkplaats changed a lot throughout time, but it used to be very similar to the current sociocratic schools in the Netherlands.
It has been very inspiring to learn more about the history of sociocracy and democratic education with this book, especially in the context of the Second World War. De Werkplaats not only resisted through these dark times, but played a fundamental role in protecting jews during the nazi occupation.
A story about the construction of a community based on trust, dialogue, cooperation and engagement with the world.