Democratic Education: Should Students Have a Say?
Imagine you’re at school.A regular school.It has a principal, teachers and students.
The students go to school each day to learn.They are going for their education.Yet it’s not the students who decide how their education is taught, rather it is the teachers.Schools should be more of a democracy.It’s the student’s education, and their future.Teachers and students need to communicate to include the students ideas as well as giving the students a strong and well rounded education.
Every child should be allowed to have a successful education, one where they feel cared for.To be able to feel as if they can accomplish their goals based off of their education.Everyone learns in different ways, has different opinions and has different ideas of how they want to use their education in their future career.Students should have more of a say about their school because they will learn in a way they can understand.School should be a democratic environment because it gives students a chance to express the way they learn best, prepare them for college and give them a chance to use their education to pursue their interests. Although there are seven different ways to learn, usually only two of them are used in schools.
Those two styles are visual and logistic.Visual learners are usually people who do well in language arts and excel at remembering faces, images and written phrases. On the other hand, logistic learners are usually excel in math and enjoy learning by using reasoning and calculations. These may be the styles of teaching that are the most commonly taught, but it doesn’t mean they are the most common form of learning. In fact according to a university study, in Visual learning was found to have a high percentage of students that found it was their learning style, about 41.
7%.Not even half. In fact, the second most common learning style found in students was not logical, but kinesthetic. Logical wasn’t even in the top 3.If this is true, it would seem reasonable to teach a style that addresses the majority of students, rather than only a small minority.
It’s not just the teachers that are part of this, their is another person.The Principal.The Principal is the one who has the connections with the board of education, and while some teachers teach a learning style that all their students would know, it is hard to do so with the curriculum they are given.If students had more of a say and were able to express their learning styles to the board of education and the principal, they could try to find work that would suit the students learning styles.However, students currently don’t have that big of a voice, because there aren’t anyways for them to express themselves. In a survey from Indiana’s national high school it was reported that, “73 percent said, “I didn’t like the school.
61 percent said, I didn’t like the teachers.60 percent said, “I didn’t see the value in the work I was being asked to do.About 25 percent said, No adults in the school cared about me.”The fact that this many students are expressing themselves that they feel this way about school is not ok.Every student should be able to feel that the work they are doing in the school is valuable and that their teachers believe in them. Schools need to give students a chance to have their voices be heard so that they are getting what they need to succeed.
While school’s purpose is to provide every child an education, it is also about preparing them for the real world.Giving students a say in their school environment will prepare them for when they are an adult and they have to make decisions for themselves.When a student is out of school and living in the real world they aren’t going to be able to just look at a textbook to know what to do.A San Francisco survey taken among high school students showed that only “45 percent of students feel confident about their college and career readiness.”That isn’t even half of the school.
This is significant because, if kids had more of a voice in their school they would learn to feel more confident in their decisions.If students have more power in what occurs in the school, the statistics will improve and more students will be more confident.In an article, it speaks about how a survey taken by the students of a teacher, helped the teacher to change his teaching ways and improve the students scores. “The survey took about five to ten minutes for students to fill out during class. “He got the information back, changed how he taught, and changed how he tutored,” says Dr.
Janice Lombardi, Trinidad Garza principal. “It changed and informed his instruction. As a result, last year, his students’ physics scores phenomenally increased. We decided this might be one of our best practices.”This shows that when students are given an opportunity to speak out and say their opinion, they will be more confident and score well on their assessments. Even if students aren’t comfortable speaking in public there are other ways that they can have a voice and contribute to the school.
A great way to get students involved in having a voice and letting the school know what they feel needs to change is through the website, StuRights. STuRights is a non-profit organization that allows students to say what they feel needs to change in their school. They have an online student’s bill of rights where students can click on the rights that they feel need to be established in their school. Once a school signs up, they can see the percentage of what needs to change and try to put it into action. There are ways to give students an opportunity to speak up and have a voice without having to actually speak up. If students are aware of a way to speak up and they do, it will give them a chance to make decisions and prepare them for the life outside of school.
Letting students speak up and have a voice will allow them to be more prepared and confident for a career and for college. Giving students a say will also help them pursue their interests as well as education.Schools focus so much on the core subjects, math, science, history and english, that they don’t focus on the careers that kids want to pursue that don’t involve the core subjects. Arts Education Partnership is an organization that wants to get the arts more involved in the education system. Director Sandra Ruppert of AEP says, “children who had no music and art classes in the 1970s and 1980s may not appreciate their value now. “We have a whole generation of teachers and parents who have not had the advantage of arts in their own education,”.
She’s right, most schools did not include the arts in their curriculum. However,it’s not just teachers fault.Since 2008, schools have been experiencing significant budget cuts and because of that most schools just cut the arts and music programs without talking to their students.If students had a voice maybe the decisions made in schools, would have been different.Students need to be able to say what’s on their mind because if they don’t the school and the students will have differing views.
The school and the students need to be on the same page.If the school isn’t aware of how the students feel, precious classes and programs,including the arts programs will be cut.A democratic education would allow students to vote and collaborate with the teachers to find alternatives to certain classes.For example, the arts program, so they are still getting what they need to succeed. If students have more of a say, teachers will be more aware of the subjects that are important to students.
Then teachers and students can find ways to communicate so that students are getting what they need to pursue the career they want, as well as a basic core curriculum education. In summation, schools should be more democratic and give students a voice.If students have a voice they will be learning their classes in a way they can understand, become more confident and prepared for college and give them a chance to pursue interests related to their career goals. When students are given a chance to speak up they will take it seriously.Students will get to learn at their own pace, prepare them for college and give them a chance to pursue more than just the standard education.
Schools should be more of a democratic setting where the students get a chance to decide what happens with their education. Works Cited “College and Career Readiness.” YouthTruth. N.p.
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