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Ten Steps to a Pilot

Anyone who wants to preserve public education and help to better meet the needs of students, parents and society can act. Students, parents, teachers, school administrators, politicians, business people, seniors, any of these people can serve as the catalyst to get a pilot study underway in their community.

Step 1

Consider the following quote from Arundhati Roy’s book Power Politics. Guy McPherson, professor emeritus of natural resources and the environment at the University of Arizona, displayed it during his talk at the Bluegrass Bioneers 2012 conference.

“The trouble is that once you see it, you can’t unsee it.
And once you’ve seen it, keeping quiet,
saying nothing becomes as political an act as speaking out.
There’s no innocence. Either way, you’re accountable.”

Step 2

If you have not already “seen” democratic learning to the point that you cannot unsee it, spend some time familiarizing yourself with it. The content of this site gives an overview. A Sampling of Resources provides an entry into a more in-depth study.

Step 3

Start talking about democratic learning and zero in on people in your community who might work towards providing a democratic learning opportunity for students in your local schools. Share through this website some of the experiences and insights you gain so that others can benefit from it.

Step 4

Form a group to consider the feasibility of running a pilot project in your local school. If it appears to be feasible, then determine the best way to proceed .

Step 5

The support of the principal of your school is essential. A pilot project will not be undertaken without his or her approval. Go to the principal with as strong a case as possible. The more people you have supporting you (students, parents, grandparents, business leaders), the more likely you are to get the response you want.

Step 6

A supportive principal must now gain the approval of his or her superiors and teachers.

Step 7

If conditions are favorable to running a pilot program, the most suitable teachers to staff it need to be recruited. These teachers have to want to be involved. Coercing them to take part could result in a lack of needed enthusiasm.

Step 8

Teachers and administrators determine the specifics of how the pilot will run in their school. The grades to be involved, the courses to be offered, the facilities and resources to be provided, the minimum and maximum number of students for the program, and the process for enrolling need to be decided. As much as possible any conditions that would prevent some students from participating in the program should be avoided.

Step 9

Make presentations to parents and students informing them of the program and how to enroll in it. With sufficient enrollment the program should now be set to go.

Step 10

The Vision 2020 by 2020 campaign is an effort to unite proponents of democratic learning. Working together and sharing experiences will make us stronger and more effective. Join the campaign and share your experiences, good and bad, to help provide the know-how others need. Anecdotes that can inspire are also invited.

>> Join the Campaign

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