ERIC Number: ED375339
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1994-Mar-2
Reference Count: N/A
Democracy as Discipline.
Bien, Ellen C.; Stern, Susan S.
This paper describes an elementary school's attempts to give its students a "moral education." The school's program emphasized participation and discussion while stressing rules and principles of cooperation, trust, community, autonomy, and self-reliance. School personnel initiated a more democratic environment by moving the locus of disciplinary control from adults to students, as based upon the latter's moral judgment. The school's Honor Code was rewritten in a simpler format so that even those children in kindergarten could understand it. Each child, parent, and teacher then signed the Honor Code which became the school's constitution. Additionally, during the first week of school, each class wrote its own constitution following lengthy discussion and a vote by class members and the teacher. Writing the class constitution and conducting regular class meetings formed the foundation for the democratic classroom. The paper discusses some particular issues raised with the inception of the constitutions and explains how the classes resolved their problems. The administration's commitment to such a program was important and the school psychologist may play a vital role in aiding the program. Ten exhibits in the back provide examples of the Honor Code, student questionnaires, class constitutions, and strategies for behavior management. (RJM)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: District of Columbia