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January 03, 2017

One Reform to Make Schools More Democratic

Schools must serve as democratic institutions for students so that they understand how democracy functions when they graduate high school, writes Deborah Meier.

November 10, 2016

Democracy Schools After the Election: Overcoming the Cult of the Expert

Hillary Clinton's defeat stems, in significant part, from the "cult of the expert" and the reliance on Big Data which infused it. The philosophy of democracy schools, resting on an alternative view of the person -- as unique, dynamic, full of co-creative agentic potential -- is a profound alternative.

October 20, 2016

The Politics of Citizen Teachers

Just as politics is an important function of a working democracy, smart politics can benefit schools and enhance democracy in schools, argues Deb Meier.

October 14, 2016

Communities of Co-Creators

Democracy only works when open discourse is embraced. Schools must encourage discourse, and, even argument for the purpose of creating a foundation for democracy, and, in turn, some degree of liberty.

September 20, 2016

An Epistemology of Agency

We need an "epistemology of agency" to counter today's growing "post-truth politics." And students will be receptive. They sense that we have the technology and the assets to address mounting problems. What we lack is education for civic agency, ways of knowing, learning, and acting to develop the capacities on a large scale for effective action across our differences. How can schools and colleges rise to this occasion?

September 15, 2016

How Do We Rebuild Democratic Communities for Education?

In an open letter to Harry Boyte, Deborah Meier considers how elements of school choice, like school vouchers and charters schools, promote ethnic and partisan separatism.

May 31, 2016

Building Democracy in Schools: The Larger Strategy

Building democracy in schools is best thought of as a strand of a larger strategy to resist the rising authoritarian dangers of our time. Such a strategy calls for cross-partisan politics, organizing that sees the democratic potential in every kind of community, and a commitment to defending democracy and also deepening democracy.

May 17, 2016

How Can We Create Schools of the People?

America's history of collective action around schools—schools created by people's public work—is vital to remember in this election season because it is a story of the strength of the people, not the strength of elites. It includes largely unknown stories like the vast citizenship school movement of the civil rights movement, in which people found their strength. This election is all about the strength of celebrity candidates, not the people. We badly need a different public narrative of America.

May 03, 2016

Rethinking Elections and Assessments Can Lead to a Democratic Awakening

Focus on the "structures" of democracy brings to mind the role of elections and assessment in a democratic way of life. How do we think about elections if "we the people" are at the center? How do we avoid another "Southern strategy" like Nixon's, which divided working people by race? How do we assess civic agency?

April 28, 2016

4 Lessons Small School Communities Can Teach Us

School communities need a balance of "formal" democracy and civic agency.

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