Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model]definition of democracy

From: Scott David Gray <>
Date: Tue Sep 3 11:39:00 2002

On Tue, 3 Sep 2002, Default wrote:

> would you kindly define democracy.

Many people would check a dictionary, but I can understand
the reason for your question. Many schools claim to be
democratic, but don't really mean it.

The word "democracy" is rarely used in the context of
education to refer to actual government by the governed or
equality before the law.

Anyway, here's the definition I get from --
which applies perfectly to any Sudbury Model school:

> de·moc·ra·cy Pronunciation Key (d-mkr-s)
> n. pl. de·moc·ra·cies
> 1. Government by the people, exercised either directly
> or through elected representatives.
> 2. A political or social unit that has such a
> government.
> 3. The common people, considered as the primary source
> of political power.
> 4. Majority rule.
> 5. The principles of social equality and respect for
> the individual within a community.

How does this work in practice in a school? Check

The bizarre disconnect between our nation's schools, and our
cultural and national support of Democracy, was one of the
reasons for the founding of Sudbury Valley and the Sudbury
School movement. One of our first books -- the Crisis in
American Education -- addresses this head on. See

--Scott David Gray
reply to:
Of all tyrannies a tyranny exercised for the good of its
victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live
under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies.
The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity
may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for
our own good will torment us without end for they do so with
the approval of their own conscience.
-- C.S. Lewis
Received on Tue Sep 03 2002 - 11:38:13 EDT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.2.0 : Mon Jun 04 2007 - 00:03:04 EDT