ERIC Number: ED451977
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-May-8
Reference Count: N/A
Democracy and Education, Schools and Communities Initiative: Conceptual Framework and Preliminary Findings.
Nine rural Vermont schools committed to linking to their local communities are participating in an ongoing study of how manifest curricula (what is taught) and latent curricula (how classes are taught and schools are governed) influence development of student dispositions toward democratic participation. This paper presents preliminary findings from the first year. In some schools that gave students opportunities to practice democratic values and that had a vision of how service learning or a curriculum of place relates to the school mission, school-community relations improved and the student body developed a sense of civic responsibility. The major factors impacting a school's adoption of service learning were school board support, collaborative leadership, common philosophies of education among teachers and staff, and adequate resources and professional development opportunities. Service-learning and related experiential education opportunities engaged alienated and marginalized students. Most service-learning projects lacked strong ties to the traditional curriculum and strong reflection components, and few service-learning efforts emphasized complex social problems, human rights issues, environmental awareness, or social justice. Barriers to fuller implementation and sustainability of existing efforts include inadequate preparation time, transportation, and resources; uncertainty over where to place emphasis and how experiential learning meets academic standards; philosophical conflicts over the role of education; perceived limitations of students; high stakes testing; and the entrenched authoritarian and anti-democratic organizational structure and mindset of current schooling. (TD)
Descriptors: Academic Standards, Citizenship Education, Citizenship Responsibility, Classroom Environment, Democracy, Educational Cooperation, Elementary Secondary Education, Experiential Learning, Participative Decision Making, Place Based Education, Progressive Education, Role of Education, Rural Schools, School Community Relationship, School Culture, Service Learning
For full text: http://www.uvm.edu/~dewey/articles/Democonc.html.
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Vermont