Full Circle Approach

“There are no problems caused by democracy that cannot be solved by more democracy.” 
– Rudolf Dreikurs, MD

Dr. Alfred Adler & Dr. Rudolf Dreikurs

We draw heavily from the work of Alfred Adler MD, Rudolf Dreikurs MD, founders of Individual Psychology now used worldwide as a foundation for our work with parents and educators learning to become democratic leaders.

We believe that educators, parents, and leaders need education, not pathologizing. Aspiring leaders in the home, school, and organization, can un-learn obsolete traditional autocratic methods. They can learn how to build a collaborative foundation for groups to solve all problems at hand. We refrain from pathologizing people and problems. With an understanding of ‘Adlerian theory, teens and adults can learn to apply our approach effectively in their lives, families, work and communities. The results are nothing short of transformational.

Popular Education coined by Paulo Freire

We draw from educational pioneers including pedagogue, Paolo Freire who coined and promoted Popular Education through grassroots community organizing. Collaborative & Collegial: Participants support and learn from one another. Questions and answers emerge from and are answered by the learning circle.


Self-Reflective Process 

FCLC is an inquiry into how we transform ourselves, not changing our students, children and staff.  

Experiential Learning & Embodied Experience 

FCLC relies heavily on participants experiencing what a democratic learning community feels and looks like.  Participants in a FLC workshop experience the pedagogy they are seeking to implement.  

FCLC’s Wholistic Framework. Diversity, Equity & Inclusion from Human and Ecological Perspectives

Our work emerges from the central question:  What kind of leadership is needed to create holistic, healthy, and harmonious relationships within the human and non-human life in the 21st century? 

Our work occurs within an ecological and social justice context. Conversations about racism, classism, sexism, and other oppressions as well as conversations about ecological sustainability are inherently present in all our inquiry.   

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The FCLC Experience What they’re saying

  • “Using democratic tools in my teaching has transformed my relationships with students to look more like that of a sports coach or drama director. It has enabled me as a teacher to more readily see the creativity each of my students has and support and encourage them in ways beyond their academic performance in my class. Simply put, it’s been a game changer.” 

    Tricia Cavanaugh
    Holy Names Academy 

  • "These are extremely important workshops for educators to network, hear about ways to connect globally, and develop more relevant and available curriculum." 

    Diane Sophusson
    Schmitz Park Elementary 

  • “Chris has done a masterful job articulating the complexities of bringing young people to volunteer internationally. At the heart of this is moving away from programs that feel paternalistic and going towards learning opportunities that embrace the advantages of a mutually beneficial relationship. This is an important distinction that colors a student's experience as they travel abroad."  

    Mark Manuel
    Former Overlake School Director of Diversity 

  • "I was fortunate to be able to work with Chris Fontana this year to develop my leadership and democratic classroom skills. We worked together through a series of 1:1 meetings in which he tutored me in the roots of the democratic classroom, and advised me on ways to integrate these ideas into my classroom, and with strategies for socializing these concepts to the rest of the staff. Through our work together I learned how to improve the impact of our already existing class meeting/circle times, and how to help students grow a sense of belonging and develop their own leadership in the classroom and beyond."

    Christine Soja
    Teacher
    Middle College High School
    Seattle Public Schools

 The FCLC Experience

PGC

What they’re saying

  • “Using democratic tools in my teaching has transformed my relationships with students to look more like that of a sports coach or drama director. It has enabled me as a teacher to more readily see the creativity each of my students has and support and encourage them in ways beyond their academic performance in my class. Simply put, it’s been a game changer.” 

    Tricia Cavanaugh
    Holy Names Academy 

  • "These are extremely important workshops for educators to network, hear about ways to connect globally, and develop more relevant and available curriculum." 

    Diane Sophusson
    Schmitz Park Elementary 

  • “Chris has done a masterful job articulating the complexities of bringing young people to volunteer internationally. At the heart of this is moving away from programs that feel paternalistic and going towards learning opportunities that embrace the advantages of a mutually beneficial relationship. This is an important distinction that colors a student's experience as they travel abroad."  

    Mark Manuel
    Former Overlake School Director of Diversity 

  • "I was fortunate to be able to work with Chris Fontana this year to develop my leadership and democratic classroom skills. We worked together through a series of 1:1 meetings in which he tutored me in the roots of the democratic classroom, and advised me on ways to integrate these ideas into my classroom, and with strategies for socializing these concepts to the rest of the staff. Through our work together I learned how to improve the impact of our already existing class meeting/circle times, and how to help students grow a sense of belonging and develop their own leadership in the classroom and beyond."

    Christine Soja
    Teacher
    Middle College High School
    Seattle Public Schools