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ERIC Number: ED427998
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998-Aug
Pages: 14
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Democratic Leadership in the Classroom: Theory into Practice.
Wraga, William G.
This paper suggests that for students to become accustomed to democratic habits of thought and conduct, they must continually practice them throughout the course of their school career. The daily interaction between the teacher and the pupil can influence the formation of attitudes and habits essential to democratic citizenship. For teachers, the challenge lies in conducting the classroom as democratically as possible within the parameters of the authority that the state exercises over students to meet this challenge, the teacher must practice democratic leadership in the classroom. For example, the teacher can involve students in devising classroom rules, perhaps in the form of writing and signing a classroom constitution and can provide students some choice in assignments related to particular purposes or subject matter. In a problem-or-issues-focused unit the teacher can allow for student discretion in the matter of selecting problems to study. If relations among students or between teachers and students are not going well, the teacher can solicit student suggestions about the source and possible solution to the problem. The democratic classroom provides structured conditions for students to develop habits of reflective thinking that enable them to make informed decisions about pending personal and social actions. In a democratic classroom, all students are entitled to equal and fair treatment and to equal opportunity to contribute to group decisions and class discussions. Commitment to the principle of individualism requires that the democratic classroom experience dignifies the integrity of the individual learner. The teacher cultivates self control and self discipline in students by providing them structured opportunities to exercise these habits. Contains 11 references. (BT)
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A