It is tricky for educators and parents (adults) to find effective ways to facilitate compassionate, democratic school classroom communities.
Facilitate means guide.
Not exert “power over” but instead practice “power with”.
And what’s the point?
Why do we want young people to have experience with this? So they can mourn the fact that in the “real world” no one cares about these things?
Or so that they can influence the way things develop for the future of the real world?
Do we construct and influence the world or are we helpless in the face of injustice?
If young people are to learn how to participate in and run things democratically and compassionately in their classrooms, they do best when able to observe the adults in the wider school community, and beyond, actively participating as part of the same overall social construct. A top down construct for school business completely alien from what happens in the classrooms and the world of kids, is contradictory and confusing.
Young people cannot and do not spontaneously bust out with knowledge about how to make sure things are fair, or how to run a meeting etc. Fairness is important to them..but they need support to get started… laying groundwork for understanding, critical thinking, empathy and compassion to develop, grow and transform. It is hard for adults to get used to not having dominion over young people, or leaders to get used to collaboration. It is hard for adults to leave the “old school” top down (cruel) model in the dust, where it belongs. ..where it belongs…yes where it belongs.Just do it. Be courageous and brave and make lots of mistakes..but do it.