Bio – Zoe Burgess

Zoe has worked within education for over 20 years. She home educated her own children and founded a democratic education centre for home educated children in England before moving to Portugal and founding the first Democratic and Alternative International School in Portugal. This school blends Democratic education with Self directed education to allow students to be given total choice and control about their own learning. She now supports other projects large and small with the practicalities of starting up and facilitates training workshops for mainstream teachers and other educators about alternative education approaches.


Talk Description – The importance of personal choice

This talk intends to challenge your own ideas and concepts, not only about education, but also our interactions and relationships with children in general. Reflection on experience had over the course of setting up an International school in rural Portugal have allowed for insights into community relationships and the foundations needed to support a progressive and dynamic project to succeed in such an environment. Personal choice is at the heart of these experiences, insights and reflections, Including how the opinions of the Authorities, local community, parents, and staff affect the children’s choices