In other words, in what do we believe?
As a founding board member of an organization that tries to promote this concept, here’s mine.
“Democratic education is learning rooted in meaningful challenge to the individual learner, while also responsive and relevant to the larger community. It celebrates the adventure of learning, while cultivating personal and social responsibility. It helps individuals and communities find their voices.”
Going further, here are some notes I made at our first IDEA Board Retreat.
1. Democratic education requires meaningful challenge to learners, and the larger community. (I value challenge–a sense of rigor created by real curiosity and real world circumstances.)
2. Democratic education aims for authoritative, not authoritarian, relationships between students and adults.
3. Democratic education emphasizes learning as a process of human development. Learning happens through development, development occurs through learning.
4. Democratic education grounds the process of education in respectful, responsive relationships between individuals in schools.
5. Democratic education sees greater social justice as a natural outcome of an approach in which individuals of many statuses and backgrounds are valued equally, and treated equally well.
6. Democratic education seeks to highlight a broader range of voices in educational settings than we currently experience.
7. Democratic education sees human beings as naturally primed to learn.
What have I left out? In what do you believe?