Main actors involved
This movement concerns all the actors of the institutions and schools that wish to transform power-based pyramids into collectives centred on authority (mainly teachers and educators, but also headmasters, parents...)
When, where and how the story took place
The MIEC was created in August 2007, following a training given by Jean-Luc Tilmant (teacher, psycho-pedagogue and specialised trainer), aiming to provide all the actors of school (and out of school) life with tools in order to reduce (or even stop) violence in schools.
In front of the participants’ enthusiasm, it was unanimously decided to create an association respecting the rights of children and school collaborators.
The MIEC’s motto is: “Let’s resist resistances!!!” (Let’s refuse the pyramidal constraint of institutional and school structures).
School can change, emphasizing internal democracy, communities, active learning: the idea is to reclaim values, manage conflicts and emotions, de restore the institution.
This is the purpose of the device “école citoyenne” (school for citizenship, to which were added other devices: chill out space, listening space…) proposed by the movement and adopted by many schools and institutions (around fifty in the Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles).
The MIEC adopted a “Charter” it invites everybody to adhere to: ten articles, evaluated and updated every year, according to field realities, which are the base of its action:
1. Human and children’s rights constitute the ethical guide of our field action.
2. We focus our professional preoccupation on the student, and more generally on young people. We use (teaching) methodologies that are adapted to their basic needs. We propose to schools and institutions to train critical citizens who are able to integrate and develop in society.
3. In the democratic school, we are all educators, for we respect and make respect the law negotiated and built with all the actors. We do not yield to societal permissiveness.
4. Setting up a pedagogic team is a guarantee for coherence and efficiency within the school.
5. The pedagogical project is built with all the actors of the institution, which has to be clear in managing its projects. The pyramidal system must give way to a circular system in which all the actors become a driving force for citizenship. Responsibilities are different but everyone is taken into consideration in the democratic assembly.
6. The school and the institution are built in partnership with all the psychosocial and cultural actors within the framework of networks focused on the integration of critical citizens.
7. Positive communication fosters good relationship with students and young people. This approach can be individual or institutionalised (listening space, chill out space). Verbal or non-verbal conflict can make one grow up and become a basis for progress in the relationship. Contact with nature and opening oneself to one’s environment foster socialisation and integration.
8. Evaluation is in no way a segregation or sanction tool.
9. Social science is a pool of resources and strategies for a constant action-research.
10. The charter is assessed and updated each year according to the field reality.
Reasons why the story can be considered as successful.
The MIEC, created with 25 people, has continually developed since then. Currently, around fifty schools have joined the movement within the three very active local sections of the movement (Brussels-Walloon Brabant, Hainaut-Namur, Liège-Luxembourg).
Website of the MIEC: http://www.miec.be/crbst_8.html
Starting point of the student
All the difficulties encountered at school: ill-being, low self-esteem, loss of trust in school, need to stand out …