SCHOOL CIRCLES Documentary
School Circles is a feature length documentary that explores the practice of four schools in the Netherlands that go beyond our standard ideas of democracy. They all practice Sociocracy, a decision-making approach based on consent. The name School Circles makes reference to the circles in which sociocracy is based on, and the documentary will focus on the school practice to illustrate how sociocracy has been put into action.
WHY ARE WE MAKING THIS DOCUMENTARY?
Because we wish to build a more equitable, cooperative and humanizing school and society!
We have a dream to grow a learning community following principles of a loving heart, a critical mind and a creative body, where we can humanise ourselves together through dialogue and engagement with the world. As part of this dream we started Wondering School journey to experience and learn with educational practices and grow a constructive dialogue around recreating school.
At this moment we are continuing this process of research by exploring Sociocracy within schools, as we intend to implement this approach in the learning community that we wish to build. We believe that this way of organisation and decision-making encourages sensitive and open dialogue, deep collaboration and cooperation, equity and fairness, shared responsibility, sense of belonging, individual andcollective fulfilment.
These are values that we consider to be essential to our social development as human beings, both within and outside schools. That’s why we are now finding ways to share and spread sociocracy within educational environments around the world through this documentary.
– Explore how sociocracy has been practiced within schools.
– Increase awareness of sociocracy as a model of governance and decision-making.
– Help people to understand sociocracy in practice.
– Encourage people to apply sociocracy in their own schools and communities.
– Stimulate dialogue around recreating democracy and school education.
Our interest for sociocracy emerged from a short introductory course on Sociocracy 3.0 that we participated in. Since then, we started to noticed that the dominant patterns of society were often reproduced by the decisions of the majority. These observations reminded us of sociocracy and its potential to give voice to a frequently unheard minority and to encourage wise decisions for the well-being of the whole community.
Consent-based decisions are often confused with “consensus”, however they mean different things. While consensus requires the agreement of everyone to make a decision, consent means “no objections”, i.e. “there are no reasons not to do so”. Consent-based decisions usually give space for experimenting, trying out and seeing how it goes – unless someone has a good reason not to do so. And the objection is seen as a gift to the group, a word of wisdom that allows the idea to evolve and be improved by the whole group.