Category Archives: Democratic education

Democratization and Cultural Resistance in South African Teacher Education

The transformation of South African higher education has significantly altered the teacher education system resulting in an unintended decreased in the number of recruits into and graduates from teacher education programmes, as well as acute teacher shortages in subject areas … Continue reading

Posted in Apartheid, Cultural resistance, Culture, Democratic education, Distance education, Higher education, Teacher education | Tagged , , , , , ,

Collective Learning Agreements as Democratic Practice and Joint Empowerment

When decision-making power about what happens in a classroom is rarely shared with students, hierarchies are reinforced, knowledge is static, and learning becomes passive. Learning agreements and learning contracts can undercut these dynamics, modeling democracy while promoting cooperation. Analyzing collective … Continue reading

Posted in Classroom, Collective learning agreements, Democratic education, Student participation | Tagged , , ,

Democratizing the Classroom: Sequencing Discussions and Assignments to Promote Student Ownership of the Course

This article explores a radical pedagogical method for democratizing the classroom that generates rich, engaged, student-led discussions. The approach is grounded in the notion that democratic participation in the classroom is a worthy goal of radical pedagogy, that students must … Continue reading

Posted in Classroom, Democracy, Democratic education, Participation, Student | Tagged , , , ,

Moral Development and Democratic Schooling

Democratic participation in schooling is a rather recent phenomenon. Early American educators clearly did not intend nor believe that students should have a voice in their own education. The colonial school was authoritarian, teacher-directed, and often punitive. The meaning of  … Continue reading

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Playing in the Zone of Proximal Development: Qualities of Self‐Directed Age Mixing between Adolescents and Young Children at a Democratic School

The potential educational value of free age mixing between adolescents and younger children has been largely neglected because of the widespread acceptance of the conventional scheme of age-graded schooling. To address this neglect, we analyzed qualitatively a set of field … Continue reading

Posted in Democratic education, Schooling, Self-organized learning, Self-organized pedagogy, Vygotsky | Tagged , , , ,

Democratic Schooling: What Happens to Young People Who Have Charge of Their Own Education

A follow-up study was conducted of the graduates of the Sudbury Valley School (SVS), a democratically administered primary and secondary school that has no learning requirements but rather supports students’ self-directed activities. Although these individuals educated themselves in ways that … Continue reading

Posted in Creativity, Democratic education, Play, Self-directed education, Self-organized learning, Sudbury | Tagged , , , , ,

Free Play can define Kids’ Success

Free, unstructured playtime gives kids a chance to discover their interests and tap into their creativity. It’s a crucial element for building resilience in children, an attribute they’ll need in order to become happy, productive adults. That’s Kenneth Ginsburg’s thesis … Continue reading

Posted in Children, Creativity, Democratic education, Play, Sudbury | Tagged , , , ,

Supporting self-directed learning with cultures of participation in collaborative learning environments

Different kinds of problems require different kinds of learning approaches and different sociotechnical  environments to support them. Outside the classroom, much learning and problem solving takes place as individuals explore personally meaningful problems and engage with each other in collaborative … Continue reading

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