In the adventure of living, learning and relearning, the path becomes more comprehensive, therefore passable, if we begin to describe what life is like in spaces prepared for learning, whose main axis is non-directive relationships.

On the contrary, this proposal requires the creation of spaces, structures, didactic and recreational resources with sufficient stimuli, information and experiences for each individual to assume his or her freedom with responsibility and live each stage of his or her life to the fullest.

The human being possesses an internal program that is activated under favorable conditions. At the same time, you will use this information in the most convenient way. A basic element to activate the internal plan in each individual is freedom.

In our experience, freedom is not fuss, chaos, relaxation or debauchery. On the contrary, the greater the freedom, the greater the responsibility, it cannot be otherwise. A person who is free to exercise his autonomy activates his capacities in an amazing way and always uses them to his advantage.

The human being has his own internal plan that allows him to achieve personal fulfillment.

As a consequence of the above, the practice is congruent with the theoretical foundations; therefore we will say that the spaces prepared for children over 6/7 years old and young people up to 18 years old contain different areas, projects and topics of interest; which have the purpose of satisfying the authentic needs implicit in each stage.

It is astonishingly beautiful to note that in these circumstances there is a progressive development of autonomy, that is to say that each individual decides, makes and manages his or her own life in a calm manner.

There are doubts about whether a human being in the early stages of childhood “may not be able to make decisions” or “will have difficulty organizing his or her time”. These seem to be some of the biggest concerns that parents and some educators have. We clarify that being active implies autonomy and, of course, permanent decision making. For this reason, the priority of the accompanying adults is to allow personal initiatives to emerge naturally in accordance with each child’s or young person’s guidelines.

Having clear and functional references, with coexistence agreements, contributes to each individual feeling that he/she has a secure base, so that his/her interaction is spontaneous, without the risk of affecting his/her integrity.


It is pertinent to address the categories involved in the educational task and process of self-directed learning, in order to understand its implications, for example: prepared environments or spaces, autonomous activity, personal decision making, group activity, work teams, community activities, timetable and comprehensive learning plan, accompaniment, tutoring system.

Children from 6/7 years of age attend what is called Semillero 2. The priority of this environment is to facilitate the realization of the “own activity”, because we understand that it corresponds to the satisfaction of a need of your internal plan.

A child in a state of inner harmony is connected with his inner self, this calm state and the moments of silence allow him to identify what he needs and what he does not need; what he likes and what he does not like. We interpret it as the activity that has come from their heart, therefore adults respect the time it takes them to choose; the interaction can be of any nature, occupying most of the daily day and up to a week; it will depend on the topic of interest or project they develop, as well as their experience, pace and stage.

The action we have described is called “autonomous activity” and refers to the desire of the child or young person to do something of his or her own, depending on the sensitive period or phase of development he or she is going through.

In the case of team work or group activities, there is a chronogram called the daily schedule, which is visible on the wall of the arrival room for all to see, with color codes for three age groups, it does not have the connotation of a school schedule, we will say that it is a weekly planner and it is a dynamic instrument for time orientation. Therefore, the organization is flexible, as it is subject to change; it is a key reference that children know can vary, based on proposals and ideas developed by them.

So it is a weekly scheme with days and times, which are visibly differentiated by the rhythm and time of meal rituals, autonomous activities, group activities (math and language development, creative writing, experiments, dance-body expression, history and storytelling, river walks, nature explorations, among others). In addition, the times are subject to the group’s agreements. The activities described are distributed in the different hours.

In the case of children over 10 years of age who show a development of autonomy, reflected in their decision making and in the way they solve problems, they themselves elaborate an Integral Learning Plan, not only for the day or the week, but with a projection for a period of time (five months) or one to two months until they reach their goal.

Notwithstanding the above, it is difficult to imagine that boys, girls and young people can be doing the same activity at the same time (except in the work group in which they participate). In any case, autonomous activities occupy a large part of their time.

In a learning community with a non-directive educational approach, the dynamic is fluid, constant and relaxed; therefore, each day is different, we could say it is unique, even for the accompanying adults who are involved in the different activities.

To chart how life unfolds in a non-directive environment, it is important to consider each situation in context. Thus we have: on Mondays at the only The activity that everyone attends at the same time is the Governing Council meeting (from 7 years of age onwards, they attend as guests and may or may not attend). At the same time, from this age it becomes the first responsibility, since in this space the activities and responsibilities for the week are coordinated. This instance is informative (news, ideas, proposals, etc.), and responsibilities are assumed in the form of coordination of the various community activities.

It is also a space for expression and communication of likes and dislikes by children, young people and adults. In fact, it is a space that promotes self-management, conflict resolution and the elaboration of social agreements and rules for coexistence based on mutual respect.

It has been indicated that moments of silence, tranquility or rest are spaces of time to make decisions, to identify what type of activities are going to be carried out to satisfy one’s own needs, whether autonomous or in a group, as the case may be. The age of the children is taken into account, especially those who are in the transition phase (due to the susceptible and vulnerable state to which they are exposed, for this reason they are invited and they decide if they want to attend or participate). We consider that the passage from Seedbed 1 (3 to 6/7) to Seedbed 2 is a time of changes, therefore emotions are fluctuating and can be intense, stable or show apathy.

An element that we consider of vital importance is that the child chooses the moment he or she eats his or her personal snack, because at mid-morning (10 a.m.) the snack is offered as a social activity organized by the kitchen service, a time of silence to share and feel how to continue the day, even though half of the morning has passed. This break allows them to organize their day, continue or change activities.

When an autonomous activity arises, the learner may well request information (on any topic of interest, ranging from playing, painting, music, drama, crafts, cooking, dancing, planting and gardening to focusing on a specific topic, be it science, language development, mathematics, history and geography). Also sports, recreation, experiments and research. In this regard, we have an interesting laboratory that contains didactic and recreational resources that facilitate learning in the areas mentioned above.

Each day there is a group activity (small, medium and large) and the proposals are made by the adult who coordinates the activity. It is important to mention that there are no levels, the groups are formed by age and, in some cases, they decide for themselves when they want to try another work group.


Children and young people undertake different activities, apparently adults are in different areas with several or few. However, each accompanying adult is the guardian of between five and six children for whom he/she prepares an activity report; therefore, he/she documents the process of the assigned children and observes the activities carried out and records them daily.

With this information, an approximate interpretation of the stages of development is elaborated, which is complemented with the daily reports prepared by the children, in addition to the personal interview that is carried out, with the objective of being part of the documentation of their own process.

However, each companion observes and records the activity of those who shared in the day and if they are not the reports that correspond to him/her, he/she gives the information to the companion who does it.

A report of activities and developmental stages allows us to visualize the development and maturation at the cognitive, emotional and social levels of each of the participants. It also allows the elaboration of a comprehensive learning plan with each of the children (from the age of 11) since the executive functions are activated, which will be the subject of another article.

Each educational cycle is divided into two periods or five semesters, and parents are given a report of activities and developmental stages twice per cycle based on the various activities observed by the chaperones of each section, which are recorded on a daily basis in a database.

Adult accompaniment in this type of education is essential, since it requires quality care based on conscious observation, which allows for comprehensive pedagogical monitoring.

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