The democracy It is the political system to which the highest value is given in the West, and which appears to be the preferable both for our generation and for future generations. Throughout the 20th century, most of the world’s countries were subjected to monarchical, totalitarian, or dictatorial governments, and some nations continue to submit to them.
It is because of this permanent exposure in the world to democratic interruptions that the governments that are, seek spread a democratic culture, in such a way as to be sure of its continuity in time. In these cases, it is very common that the State seeks to disseminate democracy as a national value, so that from the first years all people are educated in such a framework.
The school It seems to be an area where the early exercise of democracy is very important. In fact, school democracy must be the ability of the children themselves to choose certain things, thus feeling part of their teaching and learning process. The moment they are aware of their right to choose, it is assumed, they acquire their share of responsibility right there for the decision that the majority have taken.
It is very frequent, however, that the exercise of democracy in school it is really complicated. It happens that most educational establishments handle the presumption of reluctance of young people to study, so they see authority, severity and rectitude as the only mechanism to urge them to have a good school performance.
Thus, it is frequent that the teachers most identified with these positions believe that all instances of school democracy are useless, since they transfer to children a power that should not be given to them as long as they are not prepared to exercise it.
They believe that the only children’s role in school it is to incorporate, badly or well, the knowledge that is taught, perhaps underestimating citizenship training, which should also be important. It is also frequent that teachers, even without falling into these ideological positions on teaching, do not provide instances of democracy in the school because they have never been familiar with them and their importance.
When it comes to democracy in schools, the definition of democracy is not being restricted to the possibility of choosing between different options by those who will be affected by the decision. In fact, any edge of democracy can be seen from school, which includes all kinds of instance in which their backs are turned to the single thought and each one is allowed to express their point of view, whether it is going to be heard or not.
Examples of democracy at school
Based on the aforementioned, the following list will include examples of instances where democracy is demonstrated in schools:
- One of the first issues teachers instill is not to interrupt another when they are speaking. Although it fulfills an organizational function within the classroom, it is an excellent democratic pattern linked to respect for the opinion of others.
- When the course must elect a delegate, a situation in which the mechanisms of direct democracy are applied.
- Sometimes the teacher lets the students choose the color that the course wall will be painted with.
- In kindergarten, it often happens that the course has an element (a book, a toy or a pet) that each week goes to the house of one of the students. Equality in the right to belong is a democratic value, linked to the indispensable care of public property.
- It is common that when teachers discover a mischief, they seek to identify the person responsible. A student body that has been democratically educated, it is hoped, will not have so many inconveniences for the person in charge to take charge of their actions.
- When teachers correct exams, the sole possibility of giving explanations for their corrections is a democratic element since it goes against the total thinking of a leader or referent.
- In high school, students often take a ‘civic’ or ‘citizenship’ course where the more formal components of democratic education are covered.
- Teachers who manage classes in which the intervention of young people is frequent, are implicitly offering democratic values of participation
- Teachers who are guided by a single book or manual to teach the class, whether they want to or not, are leaving a message of single thought. Offering different sources of information is a democratic exercise.
- Some schools experiment with governing bodies that include all the parties that pass through the school: students, teachers, authorities and even assistants. This could be the ultimate expression of democracy in school.