Monday, April 12, 2010

The democratic classroom: Theory to inform practice

Pearl, A., & Knight, T. (1999). The Democratic classroom: theory to inform practice. New Jersey: Hampton Press.

Summary of Chapter 1:

Chapter one outlines the purpose and intent of this eleven-chapter book. The main purpose of chapter one is to summarize what our understandings of “democracy” are and provide a general theory of education that links the two. The authors first analyze our perceptions of democracy by summarizing the philosophies of Adam Smith, Marx, Dewey and other influential theorists. This discussion establishes background information for the rest of the book. The second chapter is titled: The Role of the Schools and the Importance of a General Theory of Education.

From the Text:

“The major problem with schools is that from the first grade through graduation, with an advanced degree, the intelligence of students is devalued” (Pearl, 1).

“An education that does not examine the range of plausible explanations for and solutions to important problems can only exacerbate those problems” (Pearl, 3).

“Theory in education must not only inform educational practice and policy, it must also be capable of specifying and defining educational goals” (Pearl, 14).

“We take the position that democracy cannot be mass delivered to classrooms but must emerge at the classroom level and grow from classroom to classroom” (Pearl, 15).

“Democratic education defines the moral boundaries within which all elements in a pluralistic and diverse society can engage in meaningful discourse” (Pearl, 20).

Other Sources:

Dewey, J. (1916). Democracy and education. New York: Macmillan.

Hillkirk, K., (1994). Teaching for democracy: Preparing teachers to teach democratically. In J.M. Novak (Ed.), Democratic teacher education: Programs, processes, problems, and prospects (pp.89-101). Albany: State University of New York Press.

No comments:

Post a Comment