Some Notes about TES
Transforming Education Society (TES) was incorporated in 1992 under the British Columbia Society Act and is registered as a charity with the Canada Revenue Agency. Originally formed by a group of parents from Windsor House School as a support organization for the school, TES subsequently took on a wider role, evolving into an umbrella group dedicated to advancing an educational model in which the learner’s curriculum is self-determined in collaboration with his or her mentors, teachers, parents, and peers. Recently the model further evolved to include the concept of personalized learning as described in the 21st Century Learning Initiative, developed by John Abbott and others. We feel that the basic principles of this initiative are closely aligned with the principles of collaborative, self-determined learning.
Our educational model is based on a philosophy in which collaboration is a fundamental principle. It is a crucial element, not only in establishing the learner’s curriculum, but also in governing relationships among the various stakeholders in the learning environment. We believe that the collaborative skills learned in this educational environment will make the learner:
- better able to consider alternative points of views
- more likely to generate as well as appreciate innovative ideas
- better equipped to contribute to democratic discourse and practices.
In other words, make a more valuable member of a democratic society. We believe that a citizen of a democratic society should have a deep understanding of the democratic process, and that there is no better way to gain such an understanding than through direct experience.
Given its mandate, TES is committed to supporting educational institutions (both public and private), which offer collaborative, self-determined educational programs, as well as organizations or individuals who are advocates for collabortative, self-determined learning. Further, we are committed to supporting schools or other organizations that wish to initiate the personalized learning model.
TES follows through on this commitment by:
- hosting conferences relevant to our philosophy of education. (In 2008, TES hosted the annual International Democratic Education Conference (IDEC) at the University of British Columbia Campus in Vancouver. This was not only the first time IDEC was held on the West Coast of North America, but also the first time it was held in Canada.)
- sponsoring various workshops which are relevant to collaborative self-determined education.
- subsidizing students and others to attend various international conferences and workshops.
- acting as a liaison to other organizations in the democratic education movement. Among these organizations are the Alternative Education Resource Organization (AERO), the Institute for Democratic Education in America (IDEA), and the International Democratic Education Conference (IDEC).
- providing consultation to schools and other organizations wishing to initiate a collaborative, self-determined and/or personalized learning education program.
We are appealing for donations from anyone who shares our views on education and wishes to help us carry out these efforts.