Deborah Meier and Harry Boyte discuss what democratic education and education for democracy involve. They identify "agency," both individual and collective or civic, as key.

In this exchange on democracy and education, Harry Boyte argues that mandates usually put technocrats in charge, drawing on Pope Francis' populist philosophy to argue that technocratic approaches reflect biases, all too common on the left, against local cultures and everyday citizens. Deborah Meier agrees technocracy is a problem, but traces it to economic greed.

In this exchange Deborah Meier and Harry Boyte discuss democratic schools, or "democracy schools" in which a mix of children are all learning "in the same classroom." They also talk about how to get there. Meier accents mandates of some democratic elements. Boyte says we need a broad citizen movement as the central strategy.

In this opening dialogue on democracy and education Deborah Meier and Harry Boyte agree on the importance of democratic education and on teachers' crucial roles, and have some differences on what is "public."

Some of the best, and worst aspects of democracy are displayed in recent K-12/post-secondary education interactions. We've seen respect and disrespect, collaboration and confrontation. With the ironically named "Higher" Learning Commission, we've seen abuse of power, particularly their most recent decisions undermining the ability of students to earn college credits while in high school.

The opinions expressed in Bridging Differences are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

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