I had the privilege to be the guest of Susan Kilgour and her staff at Wulagi Primary school in Darwin. Strongly motivated to bring Deep Democracy to schools I wanted to observe how they practice Deep Democracy at Wulagi, in the classroom, with parents with their own staff. The long flight from Amsterdam was worth it! And it was so much more than just observing. I worked with the children, trained the staff and had wonderful conversations with Susan and her colleagues, learning from each other.
The most important learnings:
- not just train the staff in Deep Democracy, but find ways to encourage them to use every day
- even small kids (aged 4 , 5) can learn how to check in, do a soft shoe shuffle, a debate, a check out - and maybe they learn it faster than adults, because they don’t have to un-learn so many things…
- there is no wrong way to do it….fail forward!
- small acts of recognition by the majority for the minority build self esteem and identity.
Thanks again Susan Kilgour for your hospitality and this great learning opportunity. We’re ready to bring Deep Democracy to schools in The Netherlands!