Please join us for a one-off screening of Paideia, Escuela Libre (Manuel Larrea Guíon and Josefa Martín Luengo (Colective Paideia), video transferred to DVD, 1994, 45min.), a short observational documentary about the Paideia anarchist free school in Merida, south-west Spain. Founded in 1977 by a collective of anarchists, teachers and child psychologists, Paideia began as a preschool and eventually broadened its intake in the mid-1980s, currently catering for children between 2 and 15 years of age.
The school operates an ‘evolving' approach to education and every year -- if not every day -- adapts its techniques based on experience. Students self-manage by way of assemblies, where they raise grievances and discuss ways to deal with them. With age, each child is expected to participate more in facilitating, minute taking and active discussion of the issues raised. Votes do happen, but a close vote only indicates that more discussion is needed.
Paideia, Escuela Libre has been translated into English for the first time and provides a document of Paideia in the mid-1990s, giving an insight into how the school was and continues to be run. The video also highlights questions around the representation of education, and anarchist education in particular, which are key to the work included in Playing Truant.
With thanks to Emily Ballard and Paidiea.