Turkey’s Changemakers: Another school is possible
The Sabancı Foundation Turkey’s Changemakers Program is continuing in its fifth season to share the unique stories of extraordinary people who contribute to social development. The latest Changemaker in the fifth season is “Another School is Possible Association.”
The association was established in 2010 by a group of families in order to provide children with opportunities to improve their potential and creativity; to design the school, class and education environment in favor of children’s benefits and security, and within the framework of ecological awareness.
The association aims to create a pluralistic and solidary-based school culture which enables children, families, educators and employees to participate in the processes of planning, taking decisions and implementation. In order to reach their goal, Another School is Possible Association first established the Private Yahşi Primary School in Bodrum, a district in southwestern Turkey.
From dietary habits to dress code, different methods are used in the Happy Goat Primary School, as named by children. For example, food is prepared according to the seasonal cycle with respect to nature and labor. There are no desks in the classrooms; most of the classes take place in nature. They prefer to use the word “children” instead of “student” in the school where decisions are taken by the “Student Council.”
Even though the Happy Goat Primary School has a private-school status, its biggest difference from other private schools is that the school does not seek to gain profit. Families, who want to send their children to the school, first need to become a member of the association. Then, they become a partner of the cooperative after paying the tuition. As a result, all parents join the decision-making processes.
The association also undertakes education, networking and advocating activities in order to develop child-friendly and child-focused education.