Basic principles

The underlying philosophy of practice in Jenaplan-schools has been formulated in 20 basic principles - 5 about man, 5 about society and 10 about schools. All Jenaplan-
school take these principles as a basis for the development of their school:


  • Everyone is a unique person, with an inherent and inalienable value and dignity.
  • Everyone has the right to develop an own identity, regardless race, nationality, gender, sexual disposition, social environment, religion or life-view. This identity has to be characterized by at least independence, critical consiousness, creativity and a sense for social justice.
  • Everyone needs, for developing an own identity, personal relationships with the material, social, cultural and spiritual reality.
  • Everyone is always recognized as a total personality and, where possible, approached and acknowledged in this way.
  • Everyone will be recognized as an innovator of culture and, where possible, approached and acknowledged in this way.
  • People have to work on a society that esteems everyones inalienable value and dignity.
  • People have to work on a society that gives room to and is stimulating for the development of an own identity for everyone.
  • People have to work on a society in which differences (between individuals and groups) and changes are dealed with in just, peaceful and constructive ways.
  • People have to work on a society in which earth and space are managed with respect and care.
  • People have to work on a society in which natural and cultural resources are used in responsibility for future generations.


  • School is a relative autonomous, cooperative organization of all people concerned.
  • In the school adults have to take fore-going principles about man and society as a pedagogical basis for acting.
  • In the school curriculum content is derived from the childrens life-world and (inner)experience and from the cultural sources considered in our society as important means for the development of persons and society as described earlier.
  • In the school teaching takes place in pedagogical intended situations and with pedagogical teaching-learning materials.
  • In the school teaching and learning are shaped by a rythmic alternation of the basic-activities dialogue, play, work and celebration.
  • In the school children are predominantly placed in heterogeneous groups.
  • In the school exists an alternation of developmental teaching and independent playing and learning of children.
  • In the school discovery/inquiry-learning and cooperative working in groups have an important place.
  • In the school the behaviour and achievement of the children are judged as much as possible from the personal development of this child and in consultation with this child.
  • In the school changes are seen as a never ending process, guided by a consistent interaction of action and reflection.


Jenaplanschools are not a kind of a pedagogic heaven on earth. In these schools people are working hard to make the best of their schools. They are on the road to Jenaplan.