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Katie Song

Master - Student, Brock University

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Should students have the right to participate in developing school curriculum?

"Democratic education" and "democratic schools" is something that's not new in the US or Canada. The schools (Kindergarten - grade 12) wish to embed the values and ethics of democracy in their students so that they can fulfill the duties of exemplary democratic citizens in the future.

However, by the true meaning of democracy, this means that elementary students should have the right to participate in government/presidential elections, participate in protests, participate in labor forces, form unions, and even participate in the development of their own curriculum.

As parents, relatives, educators, community members and administrators, do you believe there are potential benefits in allowing K-12 students to participate in curriculum development?

If so, how would we go through the process of choosing the "right" students?

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    Apr 23 2013: Education is a great balancing act, routines give young children a sense of well-being and belonging, but if it is just routine, routine, routine then as we all probably know the eventual outcome is children fighting against a system of routines, instead of engaging in their education and/or learning. In New Zealand the early childhood curriculum is very much about getting the children involved in their own education but when they get to primary school these doors begin to close pretty fast, what messages are being sent to these children i ask? Giving children choice doesn't have to be at the expense of basic education like reading, writing and mathematics's. I believe excellent, motivated, valued and supported teachers should have the skills to give children a great deal of choice in the classroom and then incorporate basic education into these choices. For example - Using the playstation game guitar hero to learn about creating a rock band which Incorporated learning how to manage their tour costs (maths), about how to write songs (writing), how to get inspiration for songs (reading) etc etc. This project (which wasn't my idea) gave students a great deal of choice and they even got to play playstation in class (shock horror).

    Thanks and have great day
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      Apr 23 2013: I agree that we can give choices to students without having to risk the basic education. Routine can be helpful but it can also limit students. I like your point about balance. But it is tough to balance freedom and routine because of expectations and standards we as teachers have to meet at the end of the day. Sad reality...

      Also, the play station is an excellent example (which I might try to incorporate into my own teachings)!
    • Apr 24 2013: I think for children,they learn fast from adults,so we teachers should be in advance to improve ourself,it is always the most conciousness we all adults be aware of.

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