Guiding Principles

Education = The sum of everything a person learns that enables them to live a satisfying and meaningful life.

Our philosophy is based on the fact that children naturally want to learn the skills needed to grow into capable adults. 

And our educational approach is rooted in an unwavering confidence in the fundamental laws of how human beings learn.


Champ Libre enables young people to develop generous, empathetic, altruistic, autonomous, and shining personalities, paving the way for them to cultivate sound judgment and to spread goodwill, care and compassion in society. 

Our alternative educational model is inspired by a long and growing body of research in neuroscience, cognitive psychology, and educational science.

Prof. Peter Gray's quick primer on the basics 

of Self-Directed Education



Sociocracy and Non-Violent Communication


From Time and Space Restrictions

With no imposed classes at fixed hours, children and teens at Champ Libre have the opportunity to play, explore, and follow their interests. They initiate their learning, at their own pace, and according to their level of curiosity. Guided and buoyed by their enthusiasm, young people are free to work on their task without an imposed beginning or end. 

Discovering one’s true interest and passion, among many different options, can take time. Learning a particular subject or mastering a given talent also requires an investment of time. Time, therefore, is a child’s primary ally in her quest to discover where she most wants to invest her explorational energy. 

Students learn by playing, conversing, and pursuing their passions. We don't judge them or try to fit them into a box. Students come to truly know themselves, and chart their own pathways through education and life.

Free Play

Free play initiated by young people plays a central role at Champ Libre. Modern neuroscience research has demonstrated that play represents the most vital, successful, and powerful learning tool for young and old alike. 

It is through play that a child can develop his interests and competencies, learn how to make decisions, solve problems, achieve goals, and to follow rules. He discovers how to understand and express his emotions, to build relationships, and to coexist with others.


During most of human history, prior to the establishment of our age-graded system of schooling, children nearly always played in age-mixed groups. In such groups the older children were often responsible to care for the younger ones. In age-mixed play, children have far more to learn from peers who differ from themselves in age and ability than from those who are at their same developmental level.

In a free space such as Champ Libre, it is essential that children and teens can blend and interact together without imposed age segregation. By interacting with young people of all ages, children’s learning deepens.

The older youth guide, counsel, and inspire the younger children, and in so doing, they learn to clarify their thinking, to debate, and to confront the limits of their knowledge, thus encouraging them to go further.

Everyone takes responsibility to inspire one another and to instill trust and confidence in each other.

Sociocracy and Non-Violent Communication

All members of Champ Libre, regardless of age, participate in the management and functioning of the centre; young people’s opinions carry the same weight and value as adults’ viewpoints. 

To respect young people is to rule out any intrusive behavior in their natural mechanisms. Failure and error are fully welcomed, since they play a key role in a person’s development. It is a question of juxtaposing the connection to oneself and the connection to the other, the assertion of oneself and the healthy confrontation with the other, the expression of one's freedom among that of the others, all this while being fully open to the world.

Champ Libre operates in an atmosphere where every individual knows that his/her actions, emotions, and ideas influence those of others, where everyone takes responsibility for their well-being as well as that of all. Participating in the decision-making process allows young people to make their environment their own and as a result, instills in them the natural desire to want to take care of it. 

Forming and implementing the rules and code of conduct at Champ Libre prepares young people to play an active role in all aspects of civic life 

Champ Libre aims to embody sociocracy in its structure and decision-making process, allowing the free expression of feelings and ideas and cultivating a spirit of patience, empathy, understanding, and compassion.    

We use non-violent communication to express emotions, needs and requests. Everyone has the opportunity to discover this freedom to BE by connecting to what is alive in them and by learning to welcome what is alive in others.