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Who we are

The Australasian Democratic Education Community, ADEC, is for learners of all ages, and all those interested and involved in democratic, progressive, and alternative education.



Providing a forum to discuss and share the development of democratic, progressive and alternative philosophy and practice, and explore the socio-political issues and theoretical perspectives relating to education.​


Links and Networks

Forming links and networks between individuals, schools, educational groups and communities who share similar ideas and practices, perspectives and stories.

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United Group

A united group for the purpose of lobbying, debating, negotiating, researching and communicating the need and importance of democratic education. 

Children should be allowed to keep their natural proclivity to seek, explore, enquire and immerse themselves in the environment.


John Dewey

Our Mission

Our Aims

ADEC aims to promote and support individuals, regardless of age, schools and educational groups, who believe in and act according to the principles of Democratic, Progressive and Alternative Education.

ADEC is committed to:

  • a philosophy which values the participation of all in the learning process, particularly the learner/student.

  • ensuring the existence of structures and processes that enable the full participation of all in making decisions relevant to that learning.

  • supporting debate, research and processes which encourage cooperation.

  • being a secular organisation which provides equal opportunity for all, regardless of race, religion, culture, gender, disability or sexuality.

Kids Playing Tug of War
Hand Pile of Happy Group

What defines us

We define our Democratic Education Community in the following ways:

  • ADEC promotes caring, respectful and equal relationships between all in the learning community.

  • ADEC promotes the use of participatory, democratic practices and decision making processes in schools, learning centres or wherever education is happening. Students, parents, teachers, staff, all participate in these processes.

  • Self- direction, self-determination and self-regulation in learning and living.  

  • A life long love of learning within sustainable communities.

  • Conflict resolution through dialogue in a mutually respectful climate, refraining from using coercive and manipulative approaches is at the heart of problem solving.

  • Students working at their own levels, based on their interest and passions, rather than pre-determined levels according to age

  • Groupings which are multi-aged and provide a wider social perspective.

  • Co-operation rather than competition.

  • Personal relationships between learners and teachers which are mutually responsive and where there is reciprocity. It includes an awareness of and a breaking down of power dynamics. 

  • Teachers and Staff  who are learners/mentors/catalysts with the learner, a learner directed and learner managed approach with minimal and negotiated teacher intervention.

  • Mutually supportive partnerships between students, parents, teachers and schools within the context of democratic education including governance, funding, accreditation, registration, curriculum, changing culture.

  • A celebratory attitude towards the gifts learners bring and all that learners are able to do and know about themselves is central to the learning process.

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