Ecole Dynamique

10 June 2016
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Ramin Farhangi

Ecole Dynamique offers the educational approach that I wish for myself, for my future children and all the families which are looking for a school designed to learn and develop in complete liberty.

I arrived at this conclusion after a classic education in which I was top of the class. After getting a diploma from an engineering college, I first worked for three years for the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), during which time I began to question my role in society and the point of contributing to the wealth of a few who were rich already.

Ever since my childhood I dreamt of being a teacher, to help children succeed in their education, so I decided to take that route after the BCG. I taught maths and physics in high school for almost three years, during which I went through the usual teacher's disillusion. Most children are not interested in academic material and just try to get out of it. I had the impression that I was wasting my time, and spoiling theirs. I rapidly reached the point of questioning the structural bases of the conventional educational system, and I allowed my students progressively more and more freedom, to the point where I was not exerting any coercion at all.

It was fantastically effective to allow them to prepare more intelligently and effectively for their high school degree, because it really was a question of their diploma, their responsibility. They are all capable of preparing for this test without being controlled and patronised.

During this experiment I discovered democratic education, and I got more and more attracted by this alternative. Then I found EUDEC, the European community of such schools. After going to their yearly conference in Copenhagen in 2014, it became absolutely clear to me that I wanted to work for this kind of school. As this kind of school is more or less non-existent in France, I decided to start one.

Ecole Dynamique is a dream that has become reality, and I would even say, as Hannah Greenberg (co-founder of Sudbury Valley School) said, that the reality far surpasses anything that I could have imagined. It is a place where children are happy to come and live their lives communally, and where the staff members are happy to come and work. In addition to being delighted by what I am doing, I am learning virtues that I still need to work on, such as patience, humility, prudence and perpetual benevolence, maintaining the highest possible standards with my own attitude towards others. This school is for me the ideal framework in which to pursue the development of my own conscience.

In today's world, school and work are usually considered to be a constraint to which one has to submit. It can be difficult to imagine a place where people work in liberty, enthusiasm and happiness. However, there is a growing number of organizations where the employees choose their own roles, their own objectives, how much they get paid, what they do and where and with whom they do it. In these places described by Frédéric Laloux in his book, Reinventing Organizations, life and humanity are at the heart, with everything that gives them their strength: diversity, ambition, curiosity, emotions, the unexpected, laughter, the soul.

I take advantage of this brief biography to salute the mentors who have inspired me, in particular Daniel Greenberg, Mimsy Sadofsky, Bernard Collot and A.S. Neill. They are my giants with generous shoulders, and I am delighted to be pursuing the pioneering adventure to which they have introduced me.

Ramin Faranghi's TED talk:





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