Those most affected by decisions should be involved in making them.
March 2016 Archives
Democracy is not simply self-governance. It also involves cooperative labor, or public work, and deliberation. These are themes of a new transdisciplinary field of civic engagement called "Civic Studies." There are many implications for education and democracy schools.
It's easier to recognize what it looks like when democracy is absent than to describe any particular recipe for what it looks like in practice.
Democracy, in my experiences in the civil rights movement, meant agency. It conveyed the vast, often invisible and scorned potential of African Americans for action, and also the potential of all citizens to be co-creators of an empowering way of life. This was also the Greek meaning. We urgently need to remember it today when elections, a symbol, have become a substitute.
Deborah Meier explores the troubles of creating a truly democratic school and details Mission High's system for reaching consensus.
We can only fight the growing dangers of autocracy with democracy. Five democratic ideas and practices in Deborah Meier's last blog post provide resources.
By pushing "academics," schools often discourage students' intellectual curiosity.
At the University of Illinois last week, I was struck by how much leaders with vision in higher education understand that the broader citizenry needs to be brought into the conversation about public policies and purposes. We have some precedents to build on.