The buzzword of democratic education is omnipresent. School should address social issues and teach basic democratic values such as tolerance, understanding and the ability to compromise. According to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, children should be prepared for a responsible life in a free society in a spirit of understanding, peace and tolerance. It requires competencies such as respect and empathy, tolerance and determination, courage and prudence, the ability to cooperate and a willingness to take responsibility.
The Austrian Federal Constitution also contains the basic values that are important for democratic education: „Democracy, humanity, solidarity, peace and justice as well as openness and tolerance towards people are basic values of the school.” In cooperation with students, parents and teachers, children should be given the best possible opportunity to develop into healthy, self-confident, happy, achievement-oriented, dutiful, musical and creative people. They should be able to take responsibility for themselves, their fellow human beings, the environment and future generations, based on social, religious and moral values.
In order to impart these competencies, they must permeate the entire school day. In the spirit of a genuine participation structure, the monthly assembly was therefore installed at the
Praxisvolksschule Wien as one building block of a democratic school. For the assembly, all students and teachers gather together in the largest room of the school – the gym. The students inform each other about decisions and events from school life and present short lectures on topics they have chosen themselves. The principal also speaks on current topics. The assembly lasts 45 minutes. In preparation, the individual classes discuss what they will present, what issues they would like to discuss with the others. At the end of the assembly, everyone sings the school song.
The assembly has the following benefits in the long term