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Empowered Education, Democracy In The Classroom. Do Principles Of Democracy Enhance Success In The Classroom Or Not? Yes, Also Democracy Is Defined

1386 words - 6 pages

According to James Hoffman, "Recent attempts to reform schools in the U.S. have been decidedly undemocratic in nature and spirit." The state has now mandated standardized testing plans, curriculum frameworks for reading and language arts, testing programs for students these programs are having a direct impact on the curriculum for teacher education. This is not the answer. This is not the answer, if this continues student will drop out of school an increasing numbers of minorities will simply give up and stop attending. The wave of student apathy toward schools will continue to grow. Democracy in schools will die (Hoffman). Teachers and students are essential to keeping democratic education ...view middle of the document...

Democracy is played out in our daily exchanges, it would seem, and is expressed through a variety of behaviors which reflect: genuine caring for others, respect for diversity of thought and opinion (O'Brien). Schools can provide the environment in which these behaviors and characteristics can be modeled, taught and nurtured. Equally important is the realization that these characteristics which support a democratic context are more and more recognized as the same characteristics which enhance learning and broadened student knowledge and understandings beyond the level of simple factual knowledge.In a teaching institution it is necessary that there should be a good rapport between the teacher and the taught. In the classroom student must feel that they can challenge and inquire concepts in class. They should be able to freely communicate with each other and must understand and appreciate each other's view-point not only on academic matters but in matters of general interest as well. Mike Rose revealed while in graduate school, when the rich social networks were removed he was unable to continue. So he dropped out of school to seek other forms of education (236). The removal of open dialog and debate between student-teacher and student-student causes for a passive learning environment. Passive learning inhibits creative thinking in both the teacher and the student, were many creative minds are unable to exist. Nel Noddings, a leading figure in the field of Educational Philosophy, stated, "when liberal discussion is used to promote inquiry, critical thinking, reflective commitment, and personal autonomy, students are likely to feel more in control of their own schooling." To truly succeed in the classroom students need to become actively involved, utilizing the students' natural enthusiasm and the teacher's inherent desire to teach. Student teacher interaction is essential for an empowering educational experience.Without diversity in the classroom ones understanding of the world could be hampered. Minority groups must to be proportionally represented by the faculty, without this there is no democracy. All students need to have role models of their own race as much as the majority group needs role models of other racial backgrounds as well. This helps to get rid of stereotypes associated with of many racial and ethnic backgrounds. Students need teachers that they can relate to and feel comfortable interacting with. Teachers from different ethnic and racial backgrounds often can explain subjects using cultural terms and contexts that help children from the same backgrounds better understand the lessons. It is also necessary to have teacher that relate to the subjects being taught. In such classes as Spanish, French and all foreign languages, as well as Asian, Chicano, and African American studies the learning experience greatly heightened with a teacher whose background relates to the subject being taught. For example, it is much easier to relate to a...

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