March's Rockin’ Resource:

Institute for Democratic Education in America | IDEA

In their words:

The Institute for Democratic Education in America (IDEA), is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to ensure that all young people can engage meaningfully with their education and gain the tools to build a just, democratic, and sustainable world. IDEA collaborates with communities around the country to reclaim and reinvent education, in ways that develop compassionate citizens and changemakers.

The Ideas Behind IDEA

Founded by educators from across the country, IDEA is committed to bridging the disconnect between our democratic values and the way we educate and treat young people. This disconnect is striking, as the learning experience today is largely determined by a standardized, high-stakes, and de-personalized approach that alienates young people from learning and drives gifted teachers out of the profession.

In contrast, democratic education starts from the premise that every young person is unique, and that all young people ought to have the opportunity to live and learn in an environment that practices meaningful participation, that supports self-initiative in learning, and that is directed towards greater equality and social justice.

We created IDEA to tap into and build on the energy of people around the nation who support democratic education. We believe that only by working together strategically will we have the chance to influence the national dialogue about education and advance learning that matters.
The work of IDEA is further guided by our commitment to remain humble and open in our dialogue with others, to be full of genuine regard for all people, to think big and "speak truth to power with love" (West, 1993), and to infuse our work with a spirit of humor, fun, and positivity.

Among IDEA’s many amazing projects is the EduVation Library, a searchable database of lesson plans, action kits, evaluation tools, research, innovative schools, and more.  In this project IDEA curates high quality resources from around the country and world in which communities are practicing student-centered, democratic approaches to education. If you’re looking for some inspiration, we highly recommend this resource.