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

From: Joseph Roach <josroach_at_email.com>
Date: Sun Oct 6 18:03:00 2002

Hi Candy!

We disagree. When I refer to "democracy," I am referring to a system or method of governing a group of people where all the people decide on how the group is governed. Democracy is a bad method of government if you want efficiency, but I see democracy as the best of choices to assure that each person has liberty, and that all the people in the group are recognized has being fundamentally equal as far as making rules and judging when rules are broken. I see liberty and equality as being necessary for education and happiness.

We seem to agree somewhat on the goals, but we have very different ideas about democracy.

Best regards,

Joe Roach
The New School

----- Original Message -----
From: candy <highland_at_ruralnet.org>
Date: Thu, 03 Oct 2002 19:11:54 -0400
To: discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org
Subject: Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model]definition of democracy

> Hi Joe,
> I'm stuggling with what needs to be included in a definition of
> democratic education in preparation for the IDEC in Albany. When you
> say "democracy does not necessarily respect the rights of individuals or
> minorities" it sounds like an oxymoron to me. Democracy MUST respect
> the rights of individuals/minorities or it is not democracy by my
> definition. I'm aware of abuses of individual rights which have
> occurred in schools calling themselves "democratic", but I don't think
> the fault is in the concept of democracy. Democratic school
> communities view liberty for individuals and equality between school
> members as intrinsic parts of what constitutes democracy. I don't
> believe that democracy is ever an end in any case; rather it's a process
> - a way of living that promotes individual development, diversity of
> ideas, and free interactions among community members. Thanks for
> listening - Candy Landvoigt
>
> Joseph Roach wrote:
>
> >Scott:
> >
> >Does this mean that democracy is the end itself? Or is there some other driving reason?
> >
> >I do not see democracy as a good end in itself, because democracy does not necessarily respect the rights of individuals or minorities. Tyranny can exist as easily in a democracy as in a monarchy.
> >
> >If the reason for education is to encourage liberty for individuals and equality between members of the school, then democracy is the best method of rule. Democracy, as an end in itself, is empty.
> >
> >David, was this what you were getting at?
> >
> >Best regards,
> >
> >Joe Roach
> >The New School
> >Newark, DE
> >----- Original Message -----
> >From: Scott David Gray <sgray_at_aramis.sudval.org>
> >Date: Tue, 3 Sep 2002 11:38:13 -0400 (EDT)
> >To: <discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org>
> >Subject: Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model]definition of democracy
> >
> >
> >>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 dictionary.com --
> >>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
> >>http://www.sudval.org/texts/governed.html
> >>
> >>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
> >>http://www.sudval.org/texts/crisis.html
> >>
> >>--
> >>
> >>--Scott David Gray
> >>reply to: sgray_at_sudval.org
> >>http://www.unseelie.org/
> >>
>
>
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Received on Sun Oct 06 2002 - 18:02:19 EDT

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