OUR SCHOOL: DE VRIJE RUIMTE
“Education is the kindling of a flame,
not the filling of a vessel”
"De Vrije Ruimte" is Dutch for "open/free space"
Our school, De Vrije Ruimte (DVR), is a
Democratic, Sociocratic school
for students between 4 and 22 years old
in The Hague, The Netherlands
Responsibility for their own development
DVR students can choose which lessons they want to attend and when to take exams.
They are actively involved in shaping the lessons and activities.
Everybody follows his/her own learning path
DVR students learn to find their own motivation.
The teachers support, challenge, and inspire them in this process.
In this way, they become more autonomous adults.
Confidence while learning
Because there is no obligatory testing, comparison, or competition, DVR students stay more confident during their learning process.
Effective and Inspiring Lessons
For the teachers themselves, it is so much more rewarding to teach students who have chosen their lesson.
Since DVR students have lots of time for free play, rest, and physically movemenT, their minds are more fresh and focused to learn more efficiently.
COMMUNITY VALUES & SOCIAL SKILLS
DVR is a Community
De Vrije Ruimte feels like a big family. As everybody is equal students have a great sense of belonging to a community and care for each other.
My freedom ends when yours begins
Because students have so much freedom they develop a great deal of responsibility and they become aware of other people’s boundaries as well as their own.
Partnership as opposed to Power
In DVR nobody has power over another.
This promotes connection, cooperation and nurturing.
Everybody can be as they are
The students’ sense of self and personality is fully respected. At De Vrije Ruimte one witnesses how a good sense of self is crucial to learning and achieving what one wants in life.
An age-mixed school environment promotes nurturance and prevents bullying. Thus, children are also interested in learning from other children, as well as from adults.
Autonomy as the Key to Balance
As the DVR students are not forced to do anything, each one can stay in-tune with their own needs (of physically moving, resting, having time alone, etc).
Listening to their own needs makes them be more balanced and stay more compassionate and joyful throughout the day.