Empowered Education, Democracy in the Classroom. Do principles of democracy enhance success in the classroom or not? Yes, Also democracy is defined.

Essay by JRAbballUniversity, Master'sA+, December 2003

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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 in the classroom. An empowering educational experience in the classroom must have open dialog and debate, there must be a connection between teacher and material that is taught, and a necessity to take a step away form centralized teaching and standardized testing.

A democracy can be defined as a government by the people, exercised either directly or through elected representatives. Yet it must be defined as it applies to the classroom. If looking at this definition, one may think that within each class the students have full say about how that class is run and what is actually done each day in that class? Or does it mean that there is an elected body of students who determine the class structure? Does it mean that the teacher has no control over what is or isn't taught in that classroom? Absolutely not. Democracy in the classroom can mean many things. It means creating a learning environment in which students are participants, in which all positions are equally respected without necessarily being equally valued, and where the evaluation of varying positions takes place through critical, informed and knowledgeable dialogue. As John Dewey suggested...