Freinet Education is less well known than the other educational concepts described on this website. What is particularly interesting is that Freinet schools are much more common in Belgium than in the Netherlands, and are popular with many Belgian parents. Several of the 61 Freinet Schools in Flanders even have to use waiting lists (uit: De Standaard, 2004). Freinet Education is named after its founder, French educator Célestin Freinet, who was a teacher at a small village school. Freinet noticed that attending traditional lessons (in which the teacher only transfers knowledge) or studying school books discouraged his pupils from learning, despite the fact that they demonstrated an eagerness to explore. Therefore, Freinet decided to go out with his pupils, and let them make observations in the ‘real’ world. He encouraged them to make reports of these observations and share these with each other and other schools and villages. In this way, pupils were given the chance to learn in an authentic and active manner.

Are you curious how this educational concept is applied in daily practice in Dutch primary schools and whether it would be suited to your own child? What are the differences between Freinet schools and Dutch traditional primary schools? You can read more about this in de Keuzegids Basisonderwijs, which you can download for free on this website.