Bringing Honest Exchange Into Kids' Lives

Deborah Meier, Education Week, Sept 13, 2007
Commentary by Stephen Downes

As part of her ongoing dialog with Diane Ravitch, Deborah Meier "That's what we need now in the USA: a task force to study how democracy can be learned." I don't think you learn democracy by being told about democratic principles. I think you learn only by practicing democracy. When I was in high school I studied public speaking, took part in debating and model parliament, participated in model conferences with other schools, the works. In university I took part in student politics, wrote for the newspaper, organized protests, and more. These all seem to be behaviours that are discouraged these days, if not restricted outright. How can people learn about democracy if they can't participate in one?
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