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ERIC Number: EJ856409
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Nov
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0042-0972
Necessary Educational Reform for the 21st Century: The Future of Public Schools in Our Democracy
Laguardia, Armando; Pearl, Arthur
Urban Review: Issues and Ideas in Public Education, v41 n4 p352-368 Nov 2009
We offer a theoretical and ecological argument for the preparation of citizens in U.S. public schools. This democratic education draws legitimacy from the concern of the nations founders for a populace educated to govern itself. We also emphasize the need for new democratic skills and knowledge in the face of today's challenges, and our responsibility to prepare the young for the 21st century. A critique of the current school reform movement is provided because of its undemocratic nature. We issue a call for the transformation to democratic schools. We specifically argue that current efforts at reform are maintaining historical inequities, while also depriving those that enjoy social and economic advantages of the education needed to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing world. The democratic education proposed is based on three goals: "citizenship preparation, inclusion, and an optimum learning environment". Seven well established principles of democracy and their relationship to schooling are presented. These include; the nature of authority, inclusiveness, equal availability of the understanding required for deliberating the most serious challenges to democracy and livability, equal access to centers of political decision-making, guaranteed inalienable rights, equality, and universal access to an optimum learning environment. We offer a fundamentally different approach to educational reform: calling for a reassessment of the role of public schools in a democracy that recognizes the importance of citizenship preparation, and a "bottom up" reform model that starts in the classroom and can be implemented by individual teachers.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A