Democracy is a way of life controlled by working faith in the possibilities of human nature. Belief in the Common Man is a familiar article in the democratic creed. That belief is without basis and significance save as it means faith in the potentialities of human nature is exhibited in every human being irrespective of race, color, sex, birth an family, of material or cultural wealth. This faith may be enacted in statuses, but it is only on paper unless it is put in force in the attitudes which human beings display to one another in all incidents and relations of daily life.
The foundation of democracy is faith in the capacities of human nature, faith in human intelligence and in the power of cooperative experience. It is a belief that these possibilities empower human beings to think freely, plan effectively and act decisively. Faith in the possibilities of human nature and the common man releases humans from prejudices and elitism and empowers people to learn and to act together with positive results.
Education presupposes faith in human nature; it believes that each person, if given the intellectual and economic resources, can develop, expand and grow in capacity to communicate and cooperate with others. A teacher who concludes that human nature cannot be changed, that students’ minds cannot be awakened, have already ceased to teach.
I believe education should teach clear-headed judgement, imaginative foresight and keen observation - the powers required for democratic self-rule and democratic possibility of human beings working together, taking charge of their own destinies and believing that they can be wise rulers of their own joint affairs.
The democratic faith in human equality is belief that ever...
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Teachers are the consecrated servants of the democratic ideas (...) - ideas of friendly and helpful intercourse between all and the equipment of every individual to serve the community by his own best powers in his own best way.
Democratic education begins with supporting unique development of each young person within the community. Teachers should help their students learn about themselves, engage with the world around them and help become positive and contributing members of society. Teaching democracy means bringing young people together across their differences in ways that respect difference but that engage them in a collective dialogue. It means also empowering individuals to develop their fuller potentials regardless of any markers of difference by creating “a freer and more humane experience in which all share and to which all contribute”.
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