ERIC Number: EJ1004220
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Reference Count: 0
Democracy and Education (1894)
Parker, Francis W.
Schools: Studies in Education, v10 n1 p111-121 Spr 2013
True education is the presentation of the conditions necessary for the evolution of personality into freedom. Democracy is the only form of government under which the methods of freedom can be fostered. The great central principle of democracy is mutual responsibility. Democracy in its essence gives to each individual the liberty of becoming free; raises no artificial barriers, political or social, between him and his goal. This is the ideal of democracy. Pure democracy does not exist today since more than one-half of the people of the United States are excluded from franchise. The highest outcome, and, the author says with the greatest reverence, the divinest outcome, of all the ages of human progress is the common school. Like democracy, it is still an ideal; it has not come into its own. The common school is the antipodes of isolation, the antipodes of that method so efficiently used by monarchy and hierarchy to keep the people from loving each other and helping each other. The rapid growth and development of the common-school system of the United States has no equal in all history: born of the people, supported and nourished by the people, it has steadily made its way into the hearts of the people, and has become an absolute necessity in the growth and perpetuity of its political institutions. The high accomplishment of the common-school has not been through methods of teaching or subjects taught; it has consisted principally in the great social factor--the mingling, blending, and fusing of all classes of society. The common-school can be made the best school in the world. Everything is ready except scientific teaching and the method of democracy--that education which shall set the souls of children free. The author believes four things, as he believes in God--that democracy is the one hope of the world; that democracy without efficient common-schools is impossible; that every school in the land should be made a home and a heaven for children; fourth, that when the ideal of the public school is realized, "the blood shed by the blessed martyrs for freedom will not have been shed in vain."
Descriptors: Freedom, Teaching Methods, Democracy, Social Influences, Responsibility, Public Schools, Educational Opportunities, Instruction
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
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