Democratic Education: Schools
New developments in Student Voice
Exploring Student-led Reviews
Event at the Institute of Education 11 December 2009
Being a teacher is often stressful with many teachers feeling that they have too little time, too many targets and too little support. The idea of sharing decisions with young people involved in education might seem foolhardy or impractical, particularly for those teachers facing disruptive classes or students.
While adopting a democratic approach to education will not solve all educational problems, it has shown that it can be a good way of improving behaviour, teaching and learning and academic achievement as well as fostering greater respect between all members of a school community.
There is growing interest in democratic education across the world and particularly in Europe. In August 2008 students and teachers with an interest in democratic education will be meeting in Leipzig to establish a support network and to exchange information. More information about the Leipzig conference and the European Democratic Education Network can be found at www.eudec2008.org.
Phoenix Travel Bursary
The Phoenix Education Trust is a small national charity which seeks to promote democratic education – education in which all members of the school community, including children and young people are trusted and respected and have an equal voice in decision-making processes.
Phoenix is aware of a number of innovative projects that have been developed both in the UK and abroad which aim to promote democratic education. We believe that students and teachers would benefit from experiencing the range of initiatives that currently exist and hope that exposure to them will encourage people to pursue the development of initiatives in their own schools and communities. With this in mind Phoenix has developed a small travel bursary scheme. The aim of the scheme is to assist people to visit other projects that promote democratic education, so that they can share examples of good practice and broaden their experience.
Funds for the bursary scheme are limited and applicants will need to make a good case as to why their application should be supported.
The Trust will favour applications where teachers and students share the learning experience together.
Use of funds
Applicants may apply for funds to cover travel expenses or the cost of conference or seminar fees. Teaching cover can also be covered by the bursary. The Trust hopes that applicants will use the funds available to visit existing schools that promote democratic principles, as well as to attend events, conferences, seminars etc.
What we shall require from you
Successful applicants will be asked to provide a record of their experience, in their own words, to be submitted to the Trust no later than two months after the completion of the visit or event. Bursary recipients will also be required to submit photocopies of all relevant receipts.
Method of application
Applicants should complete the attached form and return it to the Phoenix Education Trust at the address below.
All forms require the applicant to gain a supporting statement from a referee. In the case of teachers, the referee must be a student who can be contacted by the Trust to verify their support and confirm the teacher’s commitment to the promotion of democratic education. Referees for student applicants could be a teacher, headteacher or member of a student body (like ESSA or the school council) who can confirm that the student applicant has a commitment to promoting democratic education.
The applicant will be contacted by the Trust only when a decision about their application has been made.
Owing to the limit on the Trust’s funds not all applications will be successful.
Applications may be submitted by post to The Old School, School Road, Stokeinteignhead, Devon, TQ12 4QE.
The Phoenix Travel Bursary application form can be downloaded here.