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When we first started exploring the topic, we thought about elements such as methodology and about teachers facilitating learning. This was our rationale on a conscious level, but with hindsight, there must have been more to our thinking while we selected a team 8 facilitators comprising a shaman, a yoga teacher, two philosophers, a psychologist, a social-media-enthusiastic school-head and a couple of action research aficionadas… In fact, during our first preparations we quickly realised that what can make a difference for pedagogy is not so much learning a set of tools and methods, but rather understanding why we are teachers (motivation), who we are as teachers (power, identity and value base), and what we see as our purpose in society (vision of society, purpose of education and teacher roles).

Only a deep understanding of who we are can guide us through the choices we make daily about how we teach.

This is why the 2015 edition of the Summer school offered 30+ courses revolving mainly around personal development. Themes of courses included: ethics, identity, conscious communication, imagination, creative writing, arts, voice, body and movement, and spiritual journeys.

There was a gradual realisation by participants that they were not here to get any “ready-made recipes for good pedagogy”, but would instead be engaged on an intensive journey to discover themselves and understand how

“We (teachers) are the pedagogy!”

Summer school 2015 at a glance

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Day 7

Day 8

Open space


Common activities: (whole group) soap boxes[1], Socratic walks, TASKs for democracy, roundtable debate, excursions

Long courses (15h) The being of a teacher  (with a interruption on days 4 and 5)

-       Conscious communication

-       The fourfold way: the warrior, the healer, the visionary, the teacher

-       Teacher as learner

-       Action research

Short courses (1½ -3h): acceptance, active listening, arts, assessment, body in learning, creative writing, conflict resolution, empathy, fun in learning, imagination, identity, influence, nature as teacher, philosophy of education, personal development journeys (drum & voice), rapport building, sexuality education…

Base groups

Base groups

Base groups

Base groups

Base groups

Base groups

Base groups


Pestalozzi Summer school 2015 – Voices from the field

 “You have to be there to experience it,

 it cannot be easily described”.

(S. B., Personal communication, Participant of the Summer school)

With this participant, we feel that this course is not easy to describe.

This is why we have chosen to send our report of the summer school this year through a video, for which we interviewed participants, (individually or in their base group), and team members, to give a feel of what this experience is like and what this summer school was all about.

Video report

[1] Soap boxes are short speeches of 5-minutes by participants on a topic they feel passionate about ; Socratic walks are small groups going for a 3-hour walk in nature and using socratic questioning to explore a topic of common interest ; TASKs are the Transversal Attitudes, Skills and Knowledge that uphold action for democracy and human rights that have been developed in the Pestalozzi community during a 4 year project.