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The Real School aka Dragon Valley (The School) is about being empowered, honest, critically thoughtful, just, responsible, loving, respectful, creative, independent, healing, compassionate, accepting, globally aware, environmentally conscious...and having a really good time in the process!
The School is a non-hierarchical learning environment, free of coercion and control and rooted in consensus decision making. It aims to build a community of trust and liberation through education. The Real School believes that learning and living are one, and that true learning comes from within, motivated and directed by the learner. Others in the community may help and support, but not control or manipulate, the learner.
The School promises to remain a work in progress, shunning rigidity and formalism and remaining responsive to all members of the community. It promises to remember that the students are the school, so the school must be their place. Enthusiastic input from staff, other students and mentors is welcome, but it must respect the autonomy of each student.
Consensus depends upon cooperation; freedom demands responsibility. The School will support all members in finding a balance between the needs of the individual and the needs of the community.
Finally, The School believes that dissent is healthy and that disagreement and conflict are simply part of life. Punishment has no role in dispute resolution at The School. Instead, through respect, understanding, forgiveness and honesty, community members will strive to bridge gaps and heal wounds that result from conflict.
The Real School aka Dragon Valley is a space where kids are free to make their own choices. This freedom necessitates responsibility to yourself, others, and the environment, as well as a willingness to communicate, cooperate, self-regulate, and assess your behavior and that of others.
Respect the Environment
The school bases all decisions on the consensus decision-making model, which is a process that ensures every voice is heard and has an equal say in all matters. We chose this process over the democratic model of voting because we value the minority opinion as well as the majority.
- Kim Pickens
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