An alternative education

An alternative education

Julia Vastano, Editor-In-Chief

Many students today talk about how they feel the school system forces them to conform to the “system” by having to take meaningless classes, being trapped inside for hours a day and striving to pass the college admission boards. However, these attitudes of school have, over time, grown demeaning. Many teachers look for ways to improve upon this view of traditional schools such as flipping classrooms and introduction of project-based learning.

I know from a student’s point of view that schools are headed in the right direction. However, in order to get people interested in learning there needs to be more voluntary action; I propose schools shift to a more democratic state of affairs.

Democratic learning is a novice experiment. Just as democracy was at its birth, there is no clear definition of it and how it should be used. According to The Alternative Education Resource Organization democratic learning is “education in which young people have the freedom to organize their daily activities, and in which there is equality and democratic decision-making among young people and adults.

To someone who is truly interested in education, that form of schooling is not only exciting and freeing, but very productive. I can’t imagine all of the things I would be able to accomplish in a democratic decision-making model of education. There are many areas I’d like to study and projects I’d like to conduct that schools don’t offer help or the time to do. Democratic education could reinvigorate a generation of dead heads.

This form of education is voluntary. Therefore forcing students into a democratic program would be a bit contradictory. Public schools should begin to offer democratic education to students they believe would strive in this sort of program, or offer it as a sort of half-day elective class to integrate this form of thinking into traditional schools. American schools have undoubtedly lost their luster, and a democratic mindset could help once again brighten our educational, and eventually our future.