Sunday, July 5, 2009

Building a Democratic Society

This past week I have been involved in several discussions about how to build a democratic society and what role education systems should play in this process. During these conversations I was introduced to the work of Deb Meier. Ms. Meier is often often considered the founder of the small school movement and is an advocate of reform in public schools. Above is a video of Deb Meier speaking on what it means to build a democratic society. I believe this is a very important issue that faces us in schools today and she does an outstanding job of addressing it. Please take a moment to watch her video and feel free to leave some feedback.

Mr. McClung


Jarrod Lamshed said...

There are so many good points here that hit home for me. Again the relationships between student and teacher are discussed, and well as the need for younger kids to spend time with older kids. It's always great to discover a 'new' speaker that does it well and has something important to say. I will be looking for more of what Deb Meier has to say. Thanks for posting this.

John Strange said...

My first post was brilliant (I am sure) but it disappeared into the ether. I'll try again.

I was struck by Ms. Meier's allusions to schools as prisons. Students locked up, with no adult role models, no opportunity to practice democratic habits. My thoughts of late have focused on what it means to be a "technologically literate teacher." (I will be seeking your - everybody who reads this blog and others - help in addressing this issue soon). My initial reaction to viewing this video was to ask myself how these two issues interact. Can a "technologically literate teacher" address some of Ms. Meier's concerns?


If the alternative to a prison is a community, certainly technology can expand the community to the world. The opportunities to watch role models at work is radically enhanced through the use of video and streaming classrooms. Communications and sharing in blogs, blog comments, video responses, reflective presentations may address some of Ms. Meier's concerns.

But the task for all of us is indeed HUGE.