European Democratic Education Community
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|Services||Supporting democratic education throughout Europe.|
The European Democratic Education Community (EUDEC) is a European non-profit organisation that promotes democratic education as a sensible educational model for all democratic states. EUDEC aims to further democratic education in Europe. Founded in February 2008 as a project of the United Kingdom-based Phoenix Education Trust, the organisation has been an independently registered non-profit NGO in Germany since 2009.
EUDEC's members are individuals, schools and institutions throughout Europe with decades of experience in democratic education. The organisation of EUDEC reflects the democratic education philosophy which advocates with school students playing an active role at all levels of the organisation: e.g. as individual members, in conference-planning, the organisation of programmes and on the EUDEC Council itself.
EUDEC facilitates a network of mutually supportive democratic education enthusiasts and institutions in the form of online information about democratic education in theory and practice, publications, conferences, meetings and seminars, school partnerships and exchanges.
Individuals, schools, school start-up groups and organisations may become members of the Community. As of October 2014 the Community represents about 58,000 people and 53 groups from 29 countries including more than 58,000 school students, 43 schools, many start-up groups and 3 organisations including the German National Association of Free Alternative Schools (BFAS), UK-based Phoenix Education Trust and the Swiss Union of Student Organisations (USO), as well as numerous individual members.
The Community was formed in parallel with the European Democratic Education Conference, which is now a part of the Community's regular activities. The conference, which takes place annually, also includes the EUDEC's annual general assembly of members, in which officers of the community are elected and decisions are made about Community policy. Every two years the Community elects a Council of 7 to 11 members who administer its business between assemblies.
There are two main pillars of democratic education; self-determined learning and a community based on equality and mutual respect. Students in democratic schools and universities choose how to spend their time in school, pursue their interests and prepare themselves for their lives and chosen careers. Learning can take place in classrooms, just like in conventional schools, but there are many ways to learn outside of classrooms, such as independent study, internet research, playing games, volunteering, doing projects, visiting museums, travel and discussions with friends and teachers. The best setting for learning, or indeed working, is one in which our rights and opinions are respected. Democratic schools have school meetings in which all members of the community have an equal vote, regardless of age or status. Students and teachers can sit together as equals to discuss and vote on school rules, curricula, projects, the hiring of staff and even budgetary matters. This process is one of the ways that democratic schools create an environment in which children can flourish and grow up to be tolerant, open-minded, responsible individuals who know how to express their opinions and listen to those of others and be active citizens of a modern democratic society.
Since the first EUDEC Conference that took place in Leipzig, Germany in 2008, there has been an EUDEC annual general meeting or conference each year. The events are listed below in chronological order:
2008 - EUDEC Conference Leipzig, Germany - hosted by the Freie Schule Leipzig
2009 - EUDEC Annual General Meeting Cieszyn, Poland
2011 - IDEC@EUDEC Conference Devon, England. This conference was a combination of the EUDEC Conference and the 2011 International Democratic Education Conference (IDEC)
2013 - EUDEC Conference, Netherlands - 
2014 - EUDEC Conference, Copenhagen, Denmark -  - Hosted by Det Frie Gymnasium
2015 - EUDEC Conference, Warsaw, Poland -  Hosted by Fundacji Bullerbyn
2016 - The IDEC@EUDEC Conference will take place in Finland. - 
- European Democratic Education Community — Brief History Retrieved March 5, 2009
- European Democratic Education Community — Membership Retrieved March 5, 2009