ERIC Number: ED361094
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Oct-23
The Struggles of Democracy: An Agenda for Children and Families in the 1990's.
Fu, Victoria R.
Although multiple perspectives of democracy are reflected among the diverse people that make up the United States, two crucial elements of democracy are the creation of a public space for a continuous conversation promoting freedom of expression and tolerance, and the importance of compassion. Yet, one of the most basic conflicts in any system, be it a society, a family, or a classroom, is the tension between freedom and control over destructive behaviors. In the classroom, for example, control in the form of discipline should go beyond maintaining classroom order and managing behaviors; it should focus on the development of a compassionate, caring relationship with students and the creation of situations in which they can develop discipline within themselves. Public spaces that promote democratic conversation and self-discipline can be created based on the educational technique of zones of proximal development. Educational spaces can be created that allow for play, provide opportunities for collective problem solving and growth, and implement intersubjectivity, the coordination of different perspectives. Governmental policies should also be based on coordinating competing perspectives. Priorities for the 1990s should include support for the family, a reflective and caring pedagogy in schools, and an emphasis on human fellowship instead of race, class, or gender affiliation. (Contains 20 references.) (BCY)
Descriptors: Classroom Techniques, Cooperation, Cooperative Learning, Cultural Pluralism, Definitions, Democracy, Democratic Values, Discipline, Educational Philosophy, Educational Strategies, Elementary Secondary Education, Family Role, Position Papers, Social Action, Social Control, Teacher Role, Teaching Methods
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A