Go Small to Increase Democratic Education
The classical model of education is more heavily focused on creating more bureaucratic, less creative environments on local, state and federal levels. As the research keeps showing (see library, below) the large and consolidated school model benefits some classes and groups (such as division 1 athletes) while marginalizing the majority of others.
Smalls schools markedly increase the number of critically thinking students who take responsibility for their own learning and lives. They are also statistically more likely to take responsibility for civic and social engagement outside of the classroom. This means going small can increase democratic education. Raised test scores and decreased drop out rates, as small schools bring, helps some districts bring in increased grant money per student.
By going small to increase democratic education, we instill fairness, cooperation and justice into the hearts and minds of student, which are the fundamental cornerstones of an egalitarian, meritocratic society….
The data supporting going small to increase democratic education is consistent across geographic, socioeconomic and cultural demographics. Even more importantly, it indicates the potential for empowering marginalized cultures and ethnicities by providing students of all backgrounds with a strong, informed voice. You can learn more about going small to increase democratic education by reading these articles:
Articles and Research
- Would You Send Your Kids to a School Where Students Make the Rules? Oppenheimer, Mark. The New Republic, 2014.
- Small Schools: The Myths, Reality, and Potential of Small Schools. Brooks, Joe. Community Works Journal, Medium, 2016.
- How Students Lead the Learning Experience at Democratic Schools. Vangelova, Luba. MindShift, KQED, 2014.
- Make School a Democracy. Kirp, David L. The New York Times, 2015.
- Democratic Classrooms. LearningForJustice.org, Southern Poverty Law Center.