What is Democratic Education?

Why do schools in democratic states have to be undemocratic and hierarchical? They don’t.
Educational science has proven: the best way to learn is by following our own curiosity and interests. In democratic schools and universities, this is just what happens. Free, self-motivated learning. Natural curiosity is not smothered, but nurtured. The result: motivated, innovative, lifelong learners.

There are two pillars of democratic education:

• Self-determined learning.
• A learning community based on equality and mutual respect.


What is EUDEC

EUDEC is a non-profit organisation that promotes democratic education as a sensible educational model for all democratic states. Its members are individuals, schools and institutions throughout Europe with decades of experience in democratic education. Read more...


EUDEC Currently Represents:

About 60,000 people and 60 groups from 29 countries, including: more than 58,000 school students.
43 schools.
24 school start-up groups.
3 other organisations: the German National Association of Free Alternative Schools (BFAS), UK-based Phoenix Education Trust and the Swiss Union of Student Organisations (USO). And almost 200 individual members.


Staff and Council:

The EUDEC Council is a group of seven volunteers who along with the Coordinator, manage the organisation’s business and representative tasks. Every year EUDEC members meet for the EUDEC AGM and every second year the members elect the Council. Read more...


EUDEC’s Aims:

• To support all forms of democratic education throughout Europe.
• To promote democratic education as a sensible educational model for all democratic states.
• To establish, in legislation, the right to found and attend democratic schools and to provide aid and support to democratic schools and start-up groups. Read more...


What EUDEC Can Do For You:

• Get connected – meet people involved in democratic education all over the world through EUDEC events and our networking database (insert link to events page and networking database).
• Support for school start-ups – we can get you in touch with people who have started schools for advice and information. Read more...

Our International Network

In a public database

Welcome to EUDEC’s International Democratic Education Networking Database

Self Determined Learning:
Students in democratic schools and universities choose how to spend their time in school, pursue their interests and prepare themselves for their lives and chosen careers. Learning can take place in classrooms, just like in conventional schools. But there are many ways to learn outside of classrooms, such as independent study, Internet research, playing games, volunteering, doing projects, visiting museums, travel and discussions with friends and teachers. A community of Equality and Mutual Respect: The best setting for learning – or working or living, for that matter – is one in which our rights and opinions are respected.

Democratic schools have school meetings in which all members of the community have an equal vote, regardless of age or status. Students and teachers can sit together as equals to discuss and vote on school rules, curricula, projects, the hiring of staff and even budgetary matters. The result: tolerant, open-minded, responsible individuals who know how to express their opinions and listen to those of others; well-educated, active citizens for a modern democratic society.

Here you can use the map to find schools of interest & member schools (red = of interest, red with dot = members), start-up groups of interest & member start-up groups (purple = of interest, purple with dot = member) and individuals (lite blue) connected to democratic education from across the world. You will also find contacts of organisations (pink), details of alumni (green) of democratic schools and people part of the couch surfing project (orange). We hope you enjoy searching the database and find what you are looking for. If you have a project, schools or would personally like to add or update the database please send us a message.



If you are interested in volunteering for EUDEC please send us a message. Let us know what skills and areas of interest you have and the Coordinator and Council can work with you to find existing projects to get involved with. If you have an idea for a new project, campaign or anything you would like to get started to support democratic education then please let us know and we will do what we can to support getting it started.

Send Us A Message


Are there any democratic schools in my country? >>
Are there any democratic school start-up groups in my country? >>
How do I become a member? >>
Who can become a member of EUDEC?>>
What do I do if I want to cancel my membership? >>
How much does membership cost? >>
How do I make a donation? >>
What is a EUDEC conference? >>
What does AGM mean? >>
How can I register for a EUDEC conference? >>
Are there any democratic education events happening in my local area? >>
Are there any books or films on democratic education you can recommend? >>
What is democratic education? >>
What is a democratic school? >>
What is EUDEC? >>
I want to teach at a democratic school, how will I find a job? >>
I want to visit a democratic school, how would I go about doing this? >>
I want to send my kids to a democratic school. Is there a school in my area? >>
Can you provide me with legal advice regarding starting a school in my country? >>
What is an IDEC? >>