Our Curricular Principles
- Education is not a commodity provided to students by teachers who fill them up with information; it is a dynamic transformative process based on human relationships and collaborative learning. Learning is universal and inevitable. People learn something no matter what we do, where, with whom or how we do it. It’s part of our humanity. Freedom Schools build the learning experience around this inherent aspect of our souls and spirits.
- Freedom Schools are safe, democratic spaces where differences can be shared, debated and constructively addressed; all participants are responsible for upholding this essential nonviolent community agreement. No racism, sexism, ableism, heteronormativity or other bias rooted in injustice can be allowed to obstruct the education process.
- Freedom Schools curriculum will be initiated by and centered on the needs of students. We believe the students themselves are best equipped to express what those needs are. Therefore, curriculum and organizational priorities will be primarily responsive to the questions and interests of the young people present, with guidance from their elders. In this way students and teachers can share leadership as learners and organizers with power in the present, not as mere objects with potential for the future.
- We will help students understand college prep and applications; we will also apprise students of vocational training opportunities where this is requested or seems appropriate. We will encourage students to explore new ideas and practices to develop new forms of work and culture to rebuild our communities.
- We will begin to develop a Freedom School program for suspended, dropped out, and expelled students. Because the traditional school system has become an environment of repression, punishment, and racism, our young people have been labeled “behavior problems” and pushed out instead of nurtured. As a community we refuse to give up on these students. We understand that, with adequate support, so-called “problem students” can achieve their potential and become leaders.