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A Note to Parents and Teachers of Younger Children

Although the pilot programs promoted by Vision 2020 by 2020 are designed for secondary school students, the support of parents and educators of younger students is very much needed. Change takes time, so for those who want to have pilot programs in place when today’s younger students move on to secondary schools, the efforts need to begin now.

To avoid taking on too much, Vision 2020 by 2020 is concentrating its efforts on secondary schools, but similar studies could be conducted with younger students. Cross-age pilot programs operating as schools-within-schools could just as easily be established in elementary schools. People with the experience and ability to define how to extend democratic learning to younger students can be given opportunities to turn their ideas into practice. This has already been done in some schools, but the efforts seem to stop after some small gains. People need to keep on pushing the boundaries if fundamental reform is to take hold. Studies with younger children could provide valuable information to people working at the secondary level, and in time the two efforts might merge to become pilot projects involving students of all ages.

It would seem far-fetched to most people at this time, but schools could evolve to include pre-school children. A less structured environment might even allow for parents to attend with newborns. Schools could become one-stop-shops for better family living, ones that foster stronger communities, and where older students, through observation and involvement, acquire good parenting skills and a more complete sense of responsibility for others.

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