ERIC Number: ED435506
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Jan-13
Reference Count: N/A
Our Challenge: To Set the Highest Possible National Standard--for Human Relationships.
Meier, Deborah W.
Public discussion of American education centers on crisis and decline. In response to these sentiments, citizens are fast abandoning all forms of local control over schools. Schools are controlled by increasingly distant experts. Some people think that this new direction is necessary because the schools have failed academically. On the contrary, schools have failed because they have already become too distant, unfamiliar, and unfamilial. The growth of home-schooling is due not to rigid ideologies or parental fears of academic failure, but rather to an increasing crisis of human relationships, a lack of trust among fellow citizens, and a lack of a sense of shared belonging to a common public culture. In large, distant schools, parents feel unwelcome, teachers have no time or opportunity to know their students, and students become alienated. When schools are organized sensibly, as communities, children respond by showing their best qualities. Democracy rests on relationships, and people must have early experiences of community if they are to learn and understand the workings of democracy. (SV)
Descriptors: Alienation, Citizen Participation, Community Control, Democratic Values, Educational Needs, Elementary Secondary Education, Parent Participation, Parent School Relationship, School Community Relationship, School Role, School Size, Social Attitudes, Social Environment
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Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A