Bringing the players and stories together that transform education. By connecting meaningful educational initiatives with communities and people who are active in our transformation. Let’s get our Shifts together!
Let's connect 10,000 educators and changemakers committed to human-centered education by the end of 2017. Our book is a call for people interested in actively participating in the current transformation process. Starting with 1000 EDUshifters that support our movement of transforming education.
To make positive transformation of our society and its implications on our educational systems visible.
Tell your friends and share it with your networks. It's a start of a global network. And you want to be part of it!
We redefined a must-read book as a medium of peer-to-peer communication with elements of game design.
We have chosen a book as a tool to create impactful connections and build a global community of supporters who are seeking a transformation in education.
The book is not for sale. It is not to be left on a bookshelf. It should not be lost in libraries. There will be a limited edition of 1000 copies available.
We want to use this book as a tool to create impactful connections and build a global community of supporters who are seeking a transformation in education.
We are going to use the 1000 books to test the theory of 6 degrees of separation.
Wanna know what the Pope thinks about education? Let's find it out.
To do that, we are inviting education activists around the world to join our global social experiment. We invite you!
Anyone who wants to participate makes a donation of at least €25 to fund one book. We will print the name of the funder in one book. However, we will not send the book directly. Instead we will give it to someone else and start the game journey.
We will distribute the first books at CONANE - the Brazilian conference of Alternative Education in June 2017. A person who receives the book at the conference will read it and pass it on to someone else, and so on. The aim is to get the book to its funder as soon as possible.
Participants will never lose sight of their books. They will be able to track the journey of the books on our EDUshifts platform using a personal code we will give them. They will also be able to reach out to the person who has their book at a time.
We gather a global and colourful collective formed by activists, educators, parents and social entrepreneurs. EDUshifts is a member-driven ecosystem facilitating the development and deployment of methods and programs designed to positively impact communities .
Local circles foster and accelerate meaningful educational projects in a self-organized and autonomous way. Exploring together transformative education scenarios.
Immersing with local communities in order to connect with them, understand their way of life and their needs, as well as focus on what they felt worked best.
We document our experience while researching, to be able to show it to the world and to assist with developing an action plan to promote real change in the educational landscape. As a result, they delivered solutions of a more effective educational paradigm, enabling many communities to reach out to a much wider part of the society, including those who did not have access to education in the traditional format.
Solutions for transforming educations are existing. Joint actions and sharing resources of learning environments and educative communities are becoming crucial for preserving peace, hope and dignity. It is important for such knowledge to be useful and applicable to our current needs. Hence we create a united narrative of the transformation in education.
We believe in changing the world through education. We understand that offering a more democratic and accessible educational paradigm can broaden the world of people who do not have an opportunity for education. This, in turn, helps diminish social inequalities, creating more values in the society. The shift in the educational paradigm is also beneficial to those who did have access to the education in a traditional format, but who feel that there are current social and professional needs and gaps that the traditional model is not able to bridge. The result is far reaching value added to the society that enables the creation of more work, collaboration and inclusive opportunities.
The EDUshifts movement is for those who wish to rethink the way we “do” education around the world, and for those who want to see more leaders asking questions about the future of education. It is for those who understand there must be a better way to educate future generations and for humans to coexist with nature on this planet.
Wanna take part of it? Transforming society means transforming education. Transforming education means breaking patterns and realities that we have been building up for centuries. Ready to go? Join us!
In 2015, Tathyana Gouvêa, Brazilian educator and entrepreneur, and Philippe Greier, Austrian founder of the NGO presente!, came up with an idea of a book about the future of education. They invited 16 authors from different countries around the world, each one a recognised educational thought leader in their field, to share their experiences and worldviews. They put together what has now become an EDUshifts Now! book - a manual to the transformation of education globally. In collaboration with an international team of volunteers, translators, editors, illustrators, designers and film-makers, they have produced the book in English and Portuguese. The book will be launched in June 2017 at the CONANE conference of Alternative Education in Brasília - Brazil.
The EDUshifts Now! book initiative solely relies on donations. The team is now running a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for the editing of the book and printing of one thousand copies in English. The copies will be used as a tool to create a global community of changemakers in education.
Tathyana is an educator and entrepreneur. She received a Master in School Management and a PhD in Educational Innovation. She is also a founder of Projeto Educação, a research and consulting company for transformative education projects in Brazil.
Philippe is founder of the NGO presente! and initiator of several successful prototypes and solutions for transforming education in a collaborative ways. A professional hippie who envisions a future built upon tolerance and conscious choices. What triggers him is discovering and experimenting new realities and ways to live together and to collaborate in save and abundant communities.
Manish is Co-Founder of Shikshantar: The Peoples’ Institute for Rethinking Education and Development and of the Swaraj University, Creativity Adda, Learning Societies Unconference, Walkouts-Walkon network, and Udaipur as a Learning City in India.
Yaacov is an internationally distinguished leader and visionary in democratic education, learning theory, and societal change. In 2005, "The Marker"—Israel's largest economic magazine—named Hecht one of the 10 most influential people in the social and educational areas in Israel.
Bayo is a clinical psychologist, lecturer and author from Covenant University in Nigeria. He is an international speaker, poet and activist for a radical paradigm shift in consciousness and current ways of living.
Kū is a native Hawaiian educator, researcher, song-writer, and expert in Hawaiian language, history and culture. After decades of creating and testing Hawaiian-focused models of education, Kū is creating a Hawaiian system of education that is culturally-driven, family-oriented, place-based and sustainable.
José is a Portuguese educator who pioneered a school called Escola da Ponte (Bridge School), in Vila das Aves, Portugal.
Tião Rocha is a Brazilian educator, anthropologist and folklorist. Tião is Founder and President of the Popular Center for Culture and Development (CPCD).
Heide is a Danish philosopher (BA), educational philosopher (MA), author, designer of philosophical objects and educational entrepreneur.
Helena is National Director of Strategic Actions and Innovation of the SESC. As Special Adviser in the Ministry of Education she chaired the Initiative for Innovation and Creativity in Basic Education.
Gerald is Professor of Neurobiology and Head of the Center for Neurobiological Prevention Research at the University of Göttingen - (Psychiatric Clinic) and the Institute of Public Health (University of Mannheim).
Flor is from the University Viva Inkiri and is a part of the community in Piracanga - an intentional community in Brazil.
Floris is one of the co-founders of Knowmads, a young alternative start up education focussing on educating Change Makers.
The author with the Banana Smile. Galorian is an English author, speaker, and international advisor on creative education to government, non-profits, education, and arts bodies.
Philipp is the co-founder of the Social Innovation Academy. He is passionate about Social Entrepreneurship and after being trained as an electrical engineer he decided to take on a Master study in vocational education and design.
Therezita is a charismatic educator and creator of the school Te-Arte. The Te-Arte has been around since 1975 and is distinguished by not having a classroom and by its playful and artistic method. It is located in São Paulo (Brazil) and it serves 80 children and their families.
Axinia is currently founding an alternative school with the purpose of uniting and imbibing the world's best learning practices in order to set up an inspiring exemplar of enlightened schooling.
What are we waiting for? What is holding us back? What do we still need to know? Fundamental societal challenges ask for new approaches to education. Many schools and universities are changing tremendously and opening ways to different forms of education. A growing movement is gaining momentum. But what is missing to make the education shift happen on a large scale?
We explore the future of education, the changes that are happening already, and how different communities collaborate beyond existing structures and paradigms. Be it a Montessori model, a Democratic model or a traditional school system model: it is important people have a choice of the pathways they pick to be educated. Adopting a multicultural and interdisciplinary approach enables us to create unique learning environments. As we come together, forming networks based on our concerns about the future, we find the strength and wisdom needed to create a viable human future in the 21st century and live in the world where we can freely explore our full potential and are empowered to make decisions affecting our everyday lives.
"The instant is of an imminence that takes my breath away.
The instant is in itself imminent.
At the same time that I live,
I burst into its passage into another instant."
- Clarice Lispector -
To educate is to simultaneously preserve the past in what we expect for the future, at the present moment. Educational action is so spontaneous that we could say it is natural for human beings, in other words, to produce and transmit culture is human nature. However, that action, following modern industrial societies, has acquired greater complexity in previous centuries, gaining its very own place and science: the school and the pedagogy. Their wide expansion all over the planet indicates how both have served the purposes of men from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries.
Some philosophers, physicians and educators have made harsh critiques to this hegemonic model of education all through the last century, but society has barely replied. In the 21st century, however, with the advancement of digital technologies, the liquid modernity that Bauman presents to demonstrate a more impactful process than Industrial Revolution itself, and the changes in the understanding of what is work and value creation, new models of preparing men for adult life started to be demanded.
Against this backdrop, thinkers of the 20th century were reclaimed, new schools were created around the world and many players, from big corporations to small town teachers, started to envision new educational practices that were more meaningful for the youth and for the job market, for the families and for the planet, for the state democracies and for each person's wellbeing.
Back in 2013, I started my doctoral thesis referring to this subject. It was published under the title: “The Brazilian movement of educational renewal in the beginning of the 21st century”. To its elaboration I visited several schools in Brazil and reached projects and organizations that provided different stimulus to these initiatives. One of those was NGO presente!, created by Philippe Greier.
I found it intriguing that a group of Europeans recently arrived in the country, who did not speak Portuguese and with no financial resources, had the aim of meeting and connecting schools. I thought that the way they organized themselves was very peculiar, no one knew what the next step would be, and everything was going to be built with the human and financial resources that came along. I did not think that they would go far, but five months later I met them once again in Brasília, at the National Conference of Alternatives for a New Education (CONANE, using it’s Portuguese acronym), that had this group as a cornerstone of publicity and connection of events that would take place in a disperse manner.
The first CONANE was a milestone in that movement, connecting over 400 educators, giving voice to a process that, although relevant, was silent until then. Afterwards, regional CONANEs took place, a second national CONANE and now in 2017, the third CONANE National will happen jointly with the Summit of the Americas (ENA, using it’s Portuguese acronym), where we will have the launch of this book.
The idea of this project came up in 2015, when I was finishing writing my thesis, organizing those experiences on theoretical grounds. Philippe was still traveling the world developing projects and connecting people and schools. We thought about uniting my desire to have records and the possibility of sharing those ideas on education with Philippe's network. That is how the EDUshifts book was born.
We invited several authors who shared their writings with us over the course of 2015 and 2016. We moved to searching for voluntary translators to help us reproduce the book in various languages and at the end we made a fundraising campaign for professional review of the writings, as well as illustration, editing and printing of the piece.
The book will firstly be released in English (printed and digital copy) and in Portuguese (digital). It was developed 100% online, using digital resources of sharing and co-management, and will be available free of charge under a Creative Commons license. It involved two coordinators, 17 authors, 22 translators, 1 illustrator, 1 designer, 2 reviewers and 1 coordinator for the fundraising campaign. They were people from 16 countries from all continents.
To live the development of this book could not have been a more immersive way to experience the contents presented in the following pages. It was amazing to understand the potential there is in the network: people of the entire world donating knowledge, time and resources for a project of people they are just meeting, friends of a friend or Facebook colleagues. If one word could sum up this project it would be generosity. People giving themselves to others on behalf of a project, and much needed cause.
We can see that same commitment in the experiences shared in this book, from the gifted writing of the authors and from their own glossary of experiences. This book includes ample examples of current projects that already develop the concepts introduced by the authors on theirs writings about the future.
The glossary was written based in the InnoveEdu platform, from PorVir in partnership with Wise, edSurge and InnovationUnit. The original chapters were written freely with no restrictions on format, size or content, we only asked each one to write “some pages on their believes and dreams for education of the future”, the result was a multiplicity of writings, from academic papers to interviews full of stories, from recounting of experiences to philosophical propositions, some more extensive, others quite brief; all involving, intriguing and propositional.
In the writing of Axinia Samoilova we have a report on a Russian educational experience with considerations based on Makarenko. With Flávio Bassi we reflect about the transformative competences adopted by the Ashoka program. Flor Dillon details the experience of free education Inkiri, a living university in the south of Bahia (Brazil). Floris Koot goes beyond criticism to the traditional education and introduces possibilities for an education of the future. Galorian widens the universe of education and offers in his writing a reflection on the network society and its possibilities. Gerald Huether brings us the most advanced contributions on the human brain and its impact for education. Helena Singer talks about social movements and points to the reasons why we are in a context favorable to change. José Pacheco reflects about community-based education and shares his experience with Escola da Ponte in Portugal. Manish Jain provides examples around the world presenting educational proposals that serve as alternative to the conventional model. Phillip Mäntele offers details on his educational experience in Uganda. Philippe Greier writes a manifesto on educational transformation, demonstrating that this process is already underway. Thereza Pagani recounts her vast experience as an educator through play. Thomas Heide in a dense but brief piece of writing graces us with a new paradigm to think about education. Tião Rocha brings us closer to the earth and the tradition to devise the education of the future. Yaakov Hecht, in a very explanatory article, exposes the basis of democratic education. And Ku Kahakalau talks about the tradition and modernity of Hawaiian native culture.
May this book inspire us to create the future we want!
In 1987, I have founded and run the Democratic School in Hadera, Israel, an experimental public school for four hundred schoolchildren age 4 to 18 years old. In a democratic school, each school child builds his own personal study program and determines what to learn, how, when, where and with whom. The school is run democratically and all the teachers, schoolchildren, and parents are welcome to be partners in the school’s management.
With time, I have been involved in the foundation of similar schools both in Israel and worldwide and developed professional training, which is designed specifically for teachers in democratic schools. Increasingly I have started to lead processes in the spirit of the Democratic Education in hundreds of traditional schools and from there, launched the development of the Education Cities model, where the goal is to transform the entire city into one big school. In Education Cities, the organization I am running today, we develop municipal collaborations between public institutions and private organizations that are active in the city, for the goal of expanding the unique development routes that are available for each schoolchild. As of today, we are active in more than 10 cities and towns, working with about 10% of Israeli schoolchildren, and the rate of our development is growing with increasing speed.
Many times, I have been asked, why have I chosen to call the school in Hadera “Democratic”? Is it not that every school in a democratic society is a democratic school? I have named the school in Hadera “Democratic” because I realized that the old school model that had prepared schoolchildren to live in the non-democratic society of more than a century ago, could not keep on existing and preparing schoolchildren for life in the democratic society in which we live today. Schools in the past, that had prepared its students for life as workers in an industrial factory, which mainly required discipline and obedience, cannot prepare them for life in contemporary organizations that call for creativity and for taking initiative.
I have realized that democratic education is the missing piece in the bigger puzzle called a democratic state.
Around the world, going to schooling is such a normal part of growing up today that to question its legitimacy, to even hesitate a bit, is to attract blank stares and harsh criticism. How else does one expect to learn unless you are taught in school? How would one do well in an increasingly competitive world except you get a job that pays your way through? Isn’t it a crime to even consider denying a child the right to education? Aren’t these things encoded in international charters and laws? Why are you even asking these questions?
And thus goes a possible (and very familiar) series of questions one encounters from citizens of a mass industrial culture that has evolved to see institutionalised formal education – with its hierarchies of degrees, battery of tests, armies of teachers, skyrocketing fees, and Western bias – as the only legitimate way to think about learning. Schooling – like many once indisputable institutions before it – is perceived as ‘natural’ and ‘indispensible’ – supported by governments, promulgated by an expert class, championed by fearless NGOs, advocated for in public service announcements, and promoted even by the most left-leaning progressives.
This fundamentalism of formal education is so entrenched in our ways of seeing the world – especially in the so-called global South (where the imperatives of “catch-up” still burn brightly) – that even when a crisis in education is acknowledged, it is to complain that there isn’t enough of it. Recent perturbations in the educational landscape of Africa, particularly in South Africa, have inspired narratives that bemoan the “undue union influence, poor teacher content knowledge, [and] too little learning time” as reasons why South Africans are not really learning. In India, an article reporting the failures of the country’s “Right to Education Act”, noted that “more than half of its 5th graders can’t read”, and called for sweeping transformations to the country’s paradigm of learning – mainly by selling more technology solutions to lubricate the exhausted gears of schooling.
What easily escapes awareness in these times, when unusual cracks are showing up in our social edifices, is that schooling itself is a crisis of magnificent proportions. And that attempting to fix it, or problematising a lack of access to it, is part of a world-making practice that excludes and silences a disturbing truth: that there are many other ways to learn and live in the world.
What do we actually teach, through the way we educate? The way we educate is a training in itself. You, as a student, have to listen, acquire government approved viewpoints. You basically learn to see things and act accordingly to the way your government and or school thinks the world works. When you succeed in doing so, you are deemed worthy to climb the corporate or government ladder, as you have shown willingness to comply to their standards, in order to be successful. Most of us consider this normal.
I met over time so many young people, really talking about their studies as if it was a portal to conquer the world. I once saw a student talk about how hard he wanted to work to get the same big car a business owner had waiting for him outside. The business owner smiled and blatantly honest told the student: “You think hard work will get you that car? You work hard, boy, and end up making me richer. And you look at the car and don't see the price I paid for it. Two failed marriages, lost sight of my children when they grew up, and I have a heart condition. Especially not knowing my own children well really hurts.”
Meanwhile, companies around the world spend billions to make up for what has been lacking in education, on training & coaching. Students dream of important jobs, and what do they have to offer for it? Being able to give the right answers at the right time. Many students really think that the better they comply the higher they get. But the whole concept of work life being a pyramid, in which you have to compete yourself upwards, has four major problems.
Of course, most of this happens with the best intentions, and many educational ideas of our government do make sense. Then what happens? Logical choices towards a better education are built upon logical choices that once made sense before. Together they slowly pile up into this limited (sickening?) system. To me, it's very sad that many students don't feel free to speak of their own dreams and rather prefer to play along. I feel we need a big change!