Gaia Democratic School
Learning Together in Fun and Freedom: Self-Directed learning for K-12 grades
Starri Hedges director
Minneapolis, MN 55414
Southeast, University, Dinkytown, east bank
SDE Optimizing Conditions
ASDE surveys all SDE communities/programs about how they provide, enhance, or align with each of the Six Optimizing Conditions for young people to succeed in SDE. Survey answers:
- Responsibility – At Gaia, students are in charge of their school and their individual learning. Students are the highest authority at Gaia and they make important personal decisions about how to spend their time as well as school policy decisions.
- Freedom – Gaia has areas set up for various activities. Students are welcome to go where they want/do what they want. Staff’s main roles are to help students with anything they may need and to offer guidance and experience when students ask for it.
- Access to Tools – We have a wide variety of learning materials and supplies. Students help decide resources.
- Nonjudgmental Support – Gaia values both individuality and community. Healthy relationships are very important for learning. Staff work to dismantle adult privilege and be in partnership with students. We have no mandatory grading or testing.
- Age Mixing – We believe multigenerational learning is vital for healthy communities. Our students currently range in age from 5-19 years old. There are no divisions among groups by age (unless there is a group consensus decision, which has only happened (rarely).
- Healthy Community – That’s exactly what we aim for! ❤️ Group problem solving across wide age ranges and diverse life experiences is a valuable life skill that is needed for building a better future.
If any information about this resource is out of date, please let us know.