yaacov hecht – education cities

yaacov hecht bw

intro’d to Yaacov via Isaac. huge.


recent talk on what democratic ed is:

the most beautiful thing we have in the world is that we are different. (discrimination as equity)

the catastrophe of school – you can’t see the uniqueness of everyone.

not just no uniqueness – but also a competition – makes the bell curve

the weak people in the bell graph are weak only in the square – if we let them go out – they are excellent

everyone can be excellent if we give them choice


interview prior to idec 2013:

why come to idec?

update on education cities –

the art of collaboration – the dance of change:

a little about Israel, Hadera:

on change:


Yaacov at idec 2013 – talking education cities during a coffee talk (5 min video)

what is demo ed


Yaacov’s site– Democratic Education

yaacov's site

yaacov hecht

What we learning and further cemented in our minds and hearts after reading Yaacov’s book, hearing his stories, is that this could be a simple change. Up to us.


raw review..
holy cow.
does each book i read really get better? is the order really this divine? or am i just finally drinking in life.. each day.. and that’s how it works..

Emmerson – live ever in a new day.

so Yaacov… wow
what esp resonated were the personal stories:

  • the kid who played soccer for 3 years, the parents were worried and decided to take him to another school. Yaacov told them one thing – he would be successful wherever they took him. and he was.
  • Elad, coming in as severely learning disabled. stops talking at home. even though the parents aren’t asking about school, he still feels defined as disabled, by that square, we call school. once their true feelings are shared, Elad is released to be himself.  ends up teaching himself to read, said at that point it was cake, got a masters in history. his mom said – she had been so concerned about treatments, she had missed knowing her son.
  • people wondering what the heck you are doing, wondering why you have no definite solutions or answers to their questions, swimming in the unknowing, the growing, yet longing for solace to those seeking quick fixes.
  • believing in kindness, no matter how ridiculous.
  • trusting in learning, no matter how far removed (from our squareism)
  • trusting in the learner – to get what they need
  • working with a system who’s mission statements say they want what you are doing, but aren’t giving it enough space/trust to happen/flourish
  • believing in random paths of learning per learner’s choice
  • learning how connected we all are, how related different people (student, parent, teacher, admin, community member) are to the same process
  • failing to see what you are ridding in yourself
  • the intense love for people

definitely experienced your 3 types of entry:

  • freedom shock
  • overachiever
  • at home

agree with what parents/adults need to do:

  • give space, even with your eyes [led us to this: raised eyebrow]
  • model areas of growth yourself

absolutely get the box within the world that we try to fit everyone in.. outside the box is considered lazy, ridiculous, unworthy, not credentialable – loved where that mayor asked if you believed surfing was worthy of credentialing

huge confirmation that if school wants to be good for people, the world, it needs to be non-compulsory, it needs to do a get-pivot gyration of zooming into an interdependent status for personalization and zooming out to the community/world for generosity

4 basic parts of the spiral of not knowing:

  • not knowing area
  • discover area
  • knowing area
  • doubt area

my questions…

  • does a focus on human rights create the need for procedures, is it possible to focus on a culture of trust rather than rights
  • in my ignorance, in my not knowing – it felt meeting heavy
  • can we get to a place where we’re just living.. taking care of issues as they come, on the spot, as human beings, rather than needing to call a meeting
  • same for prof development, can’t it just come as naturally as the kid, playing soccer, doing their thing
  • i do feel we need a time of detox, because most of us have been intoxicated by the square, but once we’ve reconditioned our minds (as in unleashing them) will we need all this call to order – parliament procedure? i honestly don’t know. my gut says no, but that’s just my gut
  • they all had their own keys.. love it

love the incubation – reminds of our 12+ as quasi career and detox
year 1: search (notice?) year 2: deepening (dream?)  year 3: production (connect?)  year 4: application (do?)

i want to go to Israel. i want to see Yaacov’s eyes. (though i feel i have.)
i want to hug Elad. i want to embrace his mom.

so … i will do all of that here.
we’re doing that here Yaacov. we love your voice and your story and your strength and your commitment to do and to search.
thank you deeply Yaacov. Sheerly.. Yaniv


ralph waldo emmerson

to Yaacov Hecht (and everyone)after reading this from Yaacov:
sometimes people around me accuse me of inconsistency and feel frustrated when yesterday’s truth disintegrates before their eyes.
sometimes i would rather rest on “safe ground”, to feel like “the winner” who has discovered the truth, to stop searching.
the sense of “unknowing” recharges me every time,
burns in me like a fire that joins the fire of my incendiary comrades.
some are not considered classic stories of success, … but this is exactly why they should be told.i read this from Ralph:
from Self-Reliance via the Domino Project – happy 208th



book links to AERO [alt ed resource org] for purchase


We call this body a “Future Center” — a physical, organizational, community space at the disposal of all the residents and organizations operating in the town, to create a town-wide vision operating according to the principles of a “sustainable community.” The goal of the center was to create a civil system of decision making, connected to the local council’s process of decision making.Implemented in Be’er Sheva1. A place for discourse of “mixing colors” — an opportunity for encounters that don’t usually take place, among people from different fields.2. A “future museum” — future images of the contents3. An “innovation laboratory” — a lab to accelerate innovation and initiative, through creative thinking, fruitful sharing of ideas4. A “learning center” for the development of training programs for teahcers.
Some of this vision is also written up in Matt Hern‘s Everywhere All the Time – we’ve added some of education cities.


Yaacov is one of idec 2013’s coffee talkers:

idec 2013 coffee talkers


Yaacov is the founder of IDEC which took place in Israel for the first time 21 years ago. 
He is also the one that coined the term Democratic School when he founded one in his community (the first Democratic School in Israel) Hadera (1987). Along the years, Yaacov have supported the establishment of the network of democratic schools in Israel and around the world.
Yaacov is also the one who founded in 1994 the Institute for Democratic Education in Israel – which is the first democratic teacher education program in the world! he led it until 2010. In 2011 Yaacov founded Education Cities which you can get a glimpse about in this paper by Yaacov: http://education-cities.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/article.pdf.
city ness
Yaacov in schools of trust


Yaacov Hecht – starting at 6 min

7 min – our idea was that in our school.. what happened inside school would be very similar to what happened outside school.. and outside school we live in a democratic society.. so we decide let’s make school based on democratic society


via fb share:

Shabbat Shalom from Finland.
My role in building housing systems for adults and children with special needs (we are spending a big trip at our own expense for carers who are interested. And to work in our TBM gardens)
And in the name of the revolution in Beit Berl, we set out a revolutionary group to Finland to explore inclusion and special education.
Details coming soon…
You should join the revolution that has become global – 3 weeks ago we went out to explore in England robotics in a special education service. Two weeks ago to Vilnius to do educational work with the refugees from Ukraine and now Finland while at the same time Jacob is in Boston with mit cooking the next developments.
What, you won’t show up?
Yesterday, with the help of Idit Harel, an Israeli education entrepreneur and researcher whose story is amazing in itself, we visited MIT Media Lab.
This is a fascinating place that for 40 years promotes innovation and tries to make the world a better place. From many tests he also succeeds in his mission big time.
We met with Prof. Cynthia Breazeal who has been developing “social robots” for 20 years, those that promote communication between people and machines. Afterwards we met the wonderful team of Lifelong Kindergarten headed by – Prof. Mitchel Resnick. A team that leads a lot of creative activities in the world of education and is especially known for developing the programming language for children Scratch. A platform that has to date gained over 100 million users worldwide and has become the world’s largest free coding community for children.
Alongside the unusual knowledge and inspiration we received from them, we told them about the revolution program in Beit Berl. A program in which 120 A are currently active. Women in education and educational entrepreneurship (Master programs, school administrators, Microsoft staff and experts in different opinion fields) that together try to develop tools to work in a new paradigm in education (the network paradigm).
We thought together about ways to cooperate between MIT Media Lab and the Revolution Program and in the meantime we came up with two fascinating options:
1. The lab at MIT needs schools interested in experimenting with developing innovative approaches. Exactly the schools that work with us in Beit Berl.
2. In a meeting between two different populations, MIT’s academic excellence versus the “crazy” entrepreneurs of the Revolution Program, lies wonderful potential for fruitful cooperation and surprising breakthroughs.
If you also this story about the beginning of a wonderful friendship sounds interesting, if you would like to receive more details about the revolution program in Beit Berl – for master’s degree programs in pedagogical innovation and education systems management, for the expert program or the new course we are opening this year around artificial intelligence and integration with your current activity – or if you would like a friend Your school for the revolution program, please fill in the questionnaire that appears in the first comment of this post, and we will get back to you soon.
In the meantime, Shabbat Shalom from the cold Boston (20- degrees).