Free Skools

A free skool is a decentralized network that allows people to share knowledge, information and skills, without the institutional hierarchy and authoritarianism of conventional school. The open configuration of free skools encourages self-reliance, personal development, and critical consciousness. Free skools offer a great social and learning resources for unschoolers and others looking to learn and share knowledge without institutional school.

Generally, free skools intentionally use the non-traditional spelling of the word school to demonstrate the non-traditional aspects of their methods. Additionally, the difference in spelling between skool and school helps stress the difference between free skooling and conventional schooling.

The history of free skools traces back to the anarchist schools of Spain in the late Nineteenth Century and early Twentieth Century. More recently, the free skool methodology had a revival in the democratic school movement.

Free skools inherently take a non-institutional and non-authoritarian approach to learning and knowledge-sharing. Generally, a free skool comes in the form of a grassroots effort as a set of individuals who work both autonomously and collectively to form local learning opportunities and skill-sharing.

Free skools often favor a gift economy as opposed to a market economy, meaning they favor giving goods and services away rather than buying and selling them. However, the word "free" in free skools does not merely refer to money, but rather to an emphasis on personal freedom especially when it comes to the freedom to exchange information, including free speech, and the freedom to choose how to learn on one's own. In other words, the free in free skools comes from the lack of coercion and authority of institutional schools.

While some simply offer moderate democratic reforms to the conventional education system, more radical manifestations of non-hierarchical learning have popped up, both in the form of temporary and permanent free skools, which both offer alternatives to the oppressive and institutional educational industry. Many radical gatherings and actions now commonly include temporary free skools with skill-sharing and knowledge-sharing. The permanent skools have also popped up throughout North America, and these "skools" offer a vast range of classes, workshops, and skill-shares.

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