What are examples of democratic education?

IDEA sees democratic education as a spectrum that includes many types of learning environments. They incorporate elements such as authentic assessment, inconvenient youth voice, participatory decision making, and youth-adult advisories.

Here are a few forms that democratic education can take:

  • * Schools, those that label themselves “democratic” as well as those that embody these values without using that term
  •  * Individual teachers, who carve out spaces for democratic education in their classrooms and schools
  • * Youth-led groups, including groups formed within schools and in communities * Non-profit organizations that support youth voice through school-based, out-of-school, and summer programs
  •  * Colleges in which young adults can direct their own learning and practice shared decision-making
  •  * Homeschooling and unschooling, personalized education directed by a young person and his or her family
  •  * Youth voice in policymaking, especially in education policy
  •  * Education cities in which constituents transform the community into a learning space and increase the standard of living.

 For a more in-depth explanation, read Dana Bennis’ feature on What Is Democratic Education?”

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