First published in The Courier - Newsletter of First Jefferson Unitarian Universalist Church
EC Stanton Community School was founded in 2017. It is modeled after the Sudbury Valley School in Framingham Massachusetts and the Summerhill School in Suffolk England. All three schools were formed with the belief that children are natural born learners, inherently worthy of respect, and capable of making important decisions regarding their own life and the life of their community. There are three basic structures within the school that form the basis of our community. The Law Book is a list of all rules and regulations concerning the school. The rules of the school are written by the School Meeting and enforced through a Judicial Committee. Judicial Committee is randomly comprised of a variety of students and staff each day, to deal with any rule breaking or interpersonal issues. Their rulings can involve anything from consequences that help the student or staff undo the wrong they have committed against the school community or mediation to help students deal with interpersonal challenges. The School Meeting is the governing board of the school. At School Meeting students and staff all have an equal voice and vote when it comes to the policies of the school itself, such as rules, staffing, budgets, field trips, classes, etc. The school uses a democratic, majority vote to come to each decision, but also accounts for dissenting opinions by letting minority voices have the last say on each matter if Meeting cannot reach an easy consensus.
EC Stanton, and all Self-Directed Learning environments, are based on the psychological theory of Self-Determination. It is a well documented understanding that high performance and motivation correlates to being allowed autonomy and given trust. Extrinsic motivators can serve to make individuals compliant or dedicated for a time, but true understanding and desire to learn are drastically diminished. ECS does not offer grades, unless requested by the student. The staff do not attempt to even guess what facts, figures, or principles will help each student find happiness and success as an adult in our society. Students who are Self-Directed Learners, like at EC Stanton, are given ultimate freedom to pursue activities of interest to them. This may involve traditional classes, committees, 1-on-1 mentoring, practice, experimenting, online exploration, or play. There is never any more value placed on a teacher-led science class than on an elaborate game of pretend. All experiences are learning opportunities and valuable to our students. ECS believes that the interpersonal and community skills learned at school, along with the intrinsic motivation learned by pursuing their own path every day, leads our students toward adulthood with invaluable skills they would not have necessarily learned on a traditional path.
1959 Sandy Ln.
Fort Worth, TX 76112
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First Jefferson Unitarian Universalist Church (no affiliation with the church)
1959 Sandy Ln. Fort Worth, TX 76112