- Lucas Avelleda
- Campinas, São Paulo
Athlete, International Shotokan Karate Federation
"Democratic education is a theory of learning and school governance in which students and staff participate freely and equally in a school democracy. In a democratic school, there is typically shared decision-making among students and staff on matters concerning living, working, and learning together.
Democratic schools do not have compulsory uniform curricula. Instead, these schools place emphasis on learning as a natural product of all human activity. They assume that the free market of ideas, free conversation, and the interplay of people provide sufficient exposure to any area that may prove relevant and interesting to individual students. Students of all ages learn together; older students learn from younger students as well as vice versa. Students of different ages often mentor each other in social skills.
In democratic schools, students are given responsibility for their own education. There is no pressure, implicitly nor explicitly, on students by staff to learn anything in particular. Students are given the right and responsibility to choose what to do with their time and attention.
Because the curricula are different for each student, democratic schools do not compare or rank students. There are no compulsory tests aside from those that individual governments require and those that colleges require for admission.
Some schools — mostly in the United States — offer a graduation procedure for those who wish to receive a high school diploma. Students who choose to use this option often must present a thesis on how they have prepared themselves for adulthood."