Re: re[2]: DSM: democratic classroom

From: Bruce Smith (bsmith@coin.org)
Date: Fri Nov 02 2001 - 08:32:16 EST


William,

Here's how I'm interpreting your post: if I and/or others feel that our
votes don't count, if American democracy is indeed "a shallow game
controlled by a few powerful people," then what's wrong with showing
students that? Well, I'll tell you what's wrong with it: that is not how it
has to be. Citizens _can_ organize and effect real change. It's often not
easy, but it can and does happen. Besides, I think the point's been made
before that if you want to know how much an individual's vote counts, you
can ask Al Gore.

And if I'm wrong, then at least we could do ourselves a favor and stop
pretending that it is a democracy.

Being cynical and pessismistic about the status quo is yet another gripe I
have about conventional education. "That's just the way things are" is a
sorry excuse for inflicting as much unpleasantness on students as possible
("well, golly, the real world is full of shit, so we'd better get them used
to it now"), thereby churning out still more passive graduates who expect
life to suck, and believe themselves powerless to change that.

Do you want to just accept that things suck, or do something about it? Do
you want kids to feel empowered, or victims of a corrupt system?

Bruce

At 9:11 PM 11/1/01, william van horn wrote:
>. All I see it preparing
>> students for is a life of believing that democracy itself is a shallow
>game
>> controlled by a few powerful people.
>>
>> Bruce Smith
>> Alpine Valley School
>
>Sorta like it usually works in the United States, right? How much do you
>feel that your vote counts?
>
>William M. Van Horn

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