School Circles is an independent documentary that explores the practice of democratic schools in the Netherlands. The film shows students, teachers and staff members coming together to dialogue, discuss proposals, mediate conflicts and make decisions about their school life.
These schools not only challenge the mainstream education, but also democracy as we know it. They put into practice Sociocracy, a method for collective organisation based on a systems perspective, in which the decisions are made by integrating all the voices through consent.
School Circles connects the theory of sociocracy to its practice within schools, taking us to new possibilities of organising ourselves and our communities.
“It’s beautifully filmed, I love that the students made the music, I love the way you interviewed people and have lots of different people – students and staff – talking about the processes. It’s so inspiring to see students learning from a young age how to facilitate, how to listen, how to do consent-based decision making, how to be responsible. What amazing citizens they’ll make!
It was also a great explanation for me of sociocracy, something I’m always keen to learn more about.”
“I was really taken with the quiet messages in the film. The pace. No rushing through information, showing there is time, which I guess reflects the sociocratic method as well. Taking time to listen is the heart of the process and honoring the voices. Beautifully done.”
“I have watched your documentary several times with friends and I must say I absolutely love it. In free schools around here, we tend to use majoritarian democratic decision-making structures but I always felt that some sort of consensus/non-majoritarian structure would more firmly empower the learning community. The combination of consent decision-making, sociocracy, and something like transformative, non-penal justice that you presented in School Circles was incredibly inspiring.”
“It is such a wonderful film!!! There are so many situations with heart-warming and meaningful interactions.”
School Circles is a project developed by Wondering School.
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