|Schools require for their full efficiency more opportunity for conjoint activities in which those instructed take part, so that they may acquire a social sense of their own powers and of the materials and appliances used.|
The term class council is derived from the classroom assembly ("Réunion coopérative", "Conseil") of Freinet pedagogy. Freinet did organize the class like an (agricultural) cooperative society. Much like the farmers organize cultivation and marketing of their products together in a cooperative the pupils plan and organize learning themselves. The class council is an agency of self-determination in which all pupils participate with equal rights.
An alternative model of the class council is based on work of Rudolf Dreikurs, a pupil of Alfred Adler. Dreikurs developed the class council based on individual psychology and without reference to Freinet pedagogy as an instrument of problem solving and mediation but not as an agency of self-determination.