Just because of unreflected habitude, many schools are often managed with a hierarchically “top-down” approach. Most academic decisions are made by a small number of top-level staff members while teachers are encouraged to follow the curriculum and teach by the coursebook.
Over time, this can result in teachers feeling like being isolated, unrecognized, and trapped in an environment unconducive to change and development – eventually leading to burnout. Instead, they are weakly encouraged to build on their own creativity and develop novel strategies to innovate their daily activities.
This course challenges such a hierarchical top-down approach on the ground that schools and organizations work better when teachers and workers are given more autonomy. Accordingly, the course will explore key themes to help participants promote a more collegial (“bottom-up”) approach to decision-making within their school or organization.
With a practical approach, course participants will discuss collegiality in the workplace and learn about practical ways to implement democratic modes of collective decision-making and resilience within the organization. The course will also focus on educating the young generations on democracy and introducing collegiality in classroom activities.
The course will also try to demonstrate that the more democratized an organization is, the more sustainable it will be. Traditional models of administration make it harder for organizations to change, and for workers to promote sustainability as a topic. Instead, the course will show how a more democratic organizational structure can provide an eco-friendly school environment.
By the end of the course, participants will have acquired the capacity to build a work environment based around reflection and collegiality to support change and sustainability in their school or organization.
Concept by: Owen Connolly
Participants to the course will learn to:
- Reflect on their management and teaching practices;
- Implement practical policies promoting organizational change;
- Democratize their workplace and the classroom environment;
- Foster collaboration in their academic teams, and minimize conflict;
- Promote democratic teaching in the school culture;
- Uncover the importance of sustainability academic management;
- Promote sustainability and cooperative learning practices for teachers;
- Develop and maintain an environmentally friendly school or organization;
- Analyze the importance of reflection and collegial discussion in the development of democratic practices.
Day 1 – Introduction to the course
- Introduction to the course, the school, and the external week activities;
- Icebreaker activities;
- Presentations of the participants’ schools;
- Why democracy?
Day 2 – How to democratize your organization
- Democracy within organisations;
- Democratic participation of stakeholders;
- Democratic Collaboration in the classroom.
Day 3 – Climate change and the argument for sustainable practices
- Climate change and sustainability;
- Why sustainability requires participatory democracy within an organization;
- Class project discussion.
Day 4 – The “nuts” and “bolts” of policy design and implementation
- Implementing organizational structure change: The power of buy-in;
- School policy design.
Day 5 – Keeping Quality
- Quality assurance;
- Work shop on conflict resolution.
Day 6 – Course closure & excursion
- Course evaluation: round-up of acquired competencies, feedback, and discussion;
- Awarding of the course Certificate of Attendance;
- Excursion and other external cultural activities.
The schedule describes likely activities but may differ significantly based on the trainer delivering the specific session and the requests of the participants.
If you would like to discuss a specific topic, please indicate it at least 4 weeks in advance. Course modifications are subject to the trainer’s discretion.
The number and schedule of the cultural activities depend on the location, not the course; further information is available on each location webpage. The trainer will send you the definitive course schedule approximately two weeks before the course.