Thesis by Emma Prantl about Sociocracy in Schools

#VorwissenschaftlicheArbeit #youngtalent #cooperatinginsteadofcoexsisting #school

From time to time I am invited for an interview about Sociocracy, my experiences and motivations, by people who write their bachelor or master thesis about it.

Last year I was interviewed by Emma Prantl, back then student at the Bundesgymansium (Highschool) Blumenstraße Bregenz. She wrote the final thesis with the title "Sociocracy - Cooperating instead of coexisting", with an idea on how sociocracy could be implemented in her school.

She is happy to share her paper with you:

" In order for Austrian students to graduate they are required to write a paper on a topic of their choice. Since my interests cover a wide spectrum, I found it very difficult to find one very small subject to write about. Thankfully my mother showed me an E-Mail she had gotten advertising a screening of the film “School Circles” and since I had nothing better to do that evening, I went – and I’m so very glad I did because that very evening I discovered my love for a topic I had never even heard of before.

The very next day I went up to my teacher and told her that I had finally found a topic for my paper that I wanted to write about: sociocracy. She was confused at first because she had never even heard of sociocracy before but ultimately, she agreed and thus my paper “Sociocracy – Cooperating Instead of Coexisting” was born.

The first challenge I encountered was finding reliable literature, since none of my local libraries had anything on sociocracy but thankfully the internet exists. I was also very lucky to have Lisa Praeg to turn to if I was ever stuck or needed some further explanation. She was also kind enough to agree to do an interview with me, which helped me better understand the intricacy of sociocratic systems.

After months of working on it, I finally finished my paper in February 2020. It includes an explanation of sociocracy – what it is, how it works and so on and so forth – and a model for a sociocratic system especially designed for my (old) school. To test out my theory I held a sociocratic election for the class representative in a class and had two teachers do it in theirs. To this day I have only gotten positive feedback from all three teachers involved and yet, when I presented my idea to the headmaster, he told me that this was a utopia and that it would never happen – at least not at this school. Even though that was a slight setback, I’m still confident that even though I might not have made a big difference in my school, I have given people food for thought and at the end of the day, my main goal always was to inspire people and I like to believe that I did that."

Emma Prantl

You may download her thesis here:

VWA_EmmaPRANTL Sociocracy
Download PDF • 567KB