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ERIC Number: ED319650
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Feb
Pages: 13
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Democracy: What It Is, How To Teach It.
Ravitch, Diane
The historic events of 1989 changed the political map of the world. Students and workers in China rose up to demand democracy. Democracy bloomed in Chile, Brazil, and other Latin American countries where freely elected governments replaced repressive rulers. Communist dictatorships in Poland, Hungary, East Germany, Czechoslovakia, and Rumania were toppled and interim governments agreed to establish multi-party democracies, free elections, and constitutional protection of basic rights and freedoms. Each of these nations, which had lived for decades with empty promises and meaningless constitutions, must now build a new society. In order to create a durable democratic society, they must inform themselves about what constitutes a democracy, what constitutes a free society, and what institutional constraints are necessary to create a free, democratic society. Furthermore, they must teach democracy in their schools, not just as an academic study, but as a way of life that influences student life, classroom discussions, the curriculum, and methods of teaching. Even democratic societies must teach young people what democracy is, how to participate in it, and what rights and responsibilities they have as citizens. This paper discusses the concept of democracy, the types of democracies (direct, representative, and constitutional), and ways that democracy can be taught in schools. (Author/JB)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Educational Excellence Network, Washington, DC.