This 2016 International Democratic Education Conference was held in Mikkeli, Finland. It was co-sponsored by the EUDEC, the European Democratic Education Community, which is one of the sub-groups that grew out of the IDEC. The first IDEC was a small meeting of democratic educators that was organized by Yaacov Hecht in 1993 at the Democratic School of Hadera, in Israel. The IDEC is not an organization, by design. At each conference we find schools and organizations to organize future IDECs.
There was a weekend of EUDEC meetings before the IDEC officially started on Monday, June 6th. The key organizer of this IDEC was Marko Koskinen, who worked with several local partners.
One of the most striking discoveries that the participants first realized is that it is still light in Finland well past
at this time of year, and that the sun comes up at
! This makes sleeping problematic for some. Also, the days were packed full of activities. Sometimes going past
Unlike many education conferences, more than half the participants are students, many from democratic schools. People came from 35 countries!
We learned several startling things about Finnish public schools: