Project Title

Educational Common Spaces. Passing through enclosures and reversing inequalities (SMOOTH)

Description of the Project

The EU-funded research project SMOOTH (Horizon 2020) intends to introduce the emergent paradigm of the ‘commons’ as an alternative value and action system in the field of education for children and young people.

In particular, it proposes an innovative action research program with and by children to:

  1. reverse inequalities faced by children from vulnerable social groups;
  2. strengthen inter-cultural and inter-generational dialogue and social integration;
  3. develop vital social and personal skills for the children and adults;
  4. create smooth spaces of democratic citizenship and experimentation with new ways of thinking and doing on the basis of equality, collaboration, collective creativity, sharing and caring;
  5. build and foster community through differences.

The SMOOTH project will perform a cross-cutting and cross-disciplinary analysis of educational commons. SMOOTH intends to introduce the emergent paradigm of the ‘commons’ as an alternative value and action system in the field of education (preschools, schools, and afterschool programs-ASPs) for children and young people from 4 to 16 years old. The project critically draws out the implications of the commons for refiguring education, and for social change in general, on a footing of equality, sharing, participation, togetherness, caring, and freedom. The project will address active social inclusion according to the ‘educational commons’, which we want to study, if they can operate as a catalyst for reversing inequalities, through a variety of methods such as pedagogical documentation, pedagogy of (active) listening, ethnography, discourse analysis, etc.

Educational Commons

Educational commons refer to learning communities where decisions about the educational process are taken collectively with equal participation in assemblies jointly by the three groups of teachers, learners and their guardians (when they are under age). The very practice of education and learning becomes a common good or resource which is collectively shaped and managed by the members of the educational community in terms of equality, freedom, active and creative participation.

In the educational commons, adults and children communicate and collaborate beyond the conventional age and learning divisions and hierarchies in a process of collective inquiry and learning that is resourceful, critical and ongoing. Educational life (formal and non-formal) as a whole, from the curriculum and daily instructional programme to the maintenance of the school grounds, etc., is co-managed and co-constructed by all its members in terms that tend towards equal power and equal participation. In the educational commons, teachers/educators become ‘fellow companions’ who facilitate and support, rather than guide with instructions, the educational process, in which students or pupils are largely self-acting, creating individually and cooperating with each other.

Click here to visit the conference that was held at 26-28 of May in Volos.


Bourassa, G. N. (2017). Towards an elaboration of the pedagogical common. In A. Means, D., R. Ford, & G. Slater (Eds.), Educational commons in theory and practice (pp. 75–93). New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.

De Lissovoy, N. (2011). Pedagogy in common: Democratic education in the global era. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 43(10), 1119–1134.

Kioupkiolis, A., & Pechtelidis, Y. (2017). Youth Heteropolitics in Crisis-ridden Greece. In S. Pickard, & J. Bessant (Eds.), Young People and New Forms Politics in Times of Crises: Re-Generating Politics (pp.273-293). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Korsgaard, M. T. (2018). Education and the concept of commons. A pedagogical reinterpretation. Educational Philosophy and Theory, vol.50.

Pechtelidis, Y., Kioupkiolis, A. (2020). ‘Education as Commons, Children as Commoners: The Case Study of the Little Tree Community,’ Democracy and Education, 28(1): 5.

For a more extensive review see SMOOTH, Deliverable D1.1., Review of conceptual and theoretical literature, pp. 90-113.

For more information see here:

Connect to the Smooth Project's Greek Partners and Third Parties Community