What is democratic education?

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There is an international democratic education movement, of which Currambena is a part, which defines democratic as an education system or school which encourages student participation in decision-making.

This may mean making choices about practical issues such as venues for excursions or the wording of rules and agreements. It can also mean making decisions about their learning – how, what, when, where and with whom.

Schools and education systems vary enormously in the extent to which they implement democratic processes, varying from schools where students decide everything to those where student participation is nominal, limited to areas deemed safe and appropriate by school authorities. At Currambena, democratic practices are evident at all levels of the school from the governing body, the School Council, to Class Meetings with our youngest children in Preschool.

In the classroom

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In the community
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The management of the school is through a Council of elected teachers and parents. The Council in turn responds to demands arising from meetings held by other groups within the school.

For example, weekly Class Meetings and School Meetings are a forum for students and staff. Staff in addition attend weekly staff meetings and at other times join with parents and students on various sub committees that function within the school community.

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Globally

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Some useful references for further reading about democratic education.

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