Compromise is essential for democratic schools, which need to teach faculty, parents, and students to respect each other without burning out.
This blog responds to Deborah Meier's questions about creating a movement for democratic change in education. Boyte argues that "free spaces" where citizen-centered politics can be taught, learned, and practiced offer hope - through a citizen-led alternative to growing violence and fragmentation.
What I want to encourage is for every community to discuss what they want for themselves, their neighbors, and the world that schools might be the appropriate vehicle for.
In this continuing dialogue with Deborah Meier, Harry Boyte argues that democracy in education will continue to be marginal -- and structural ideas will have little purchase - unless we have a robust discussion about "what is democracy?" He points to the recent conversation between President Obama and the writer Marilynne Robinson, as well as the narrow view of education in the recent Republican debate.
How can we create schools with more autonomy and communities that challenge the norms that are counterproductive to democracy?