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ECI 550

Shuhui Yao
09/20/2016 Assignment#3

1. According to James A. Beane (2005), in order to sustain a democratic society, a

school is asked to play an essential role in helping young people learn the democratic

way of life.

2. According to Beane (2005), he defined democracy as an idea about how people

might live together. To be specific, there are two principles related to the definition.

That people have a fundamental right to human dignity is the first principle. Another

one is the responsibilities of caring about the common good and dignity and welfare

of others, including collaborating in resolving community problems, promoting

justice and equality, taking actions to generally enhance the social, political, and

economic life of the larger society, and so on.

Personally speaking, this is the first time I clearly realized what democracy is

after reading Beanes definition of democracy. What I have learnt before about

democracy is quite superficial, which can be summarized as government by people.

Only the educators clearly and deeply know the obligations and rights to be

democratic, they can lead the young people to a democratic life.

3. According to Beane (2005), what matters in democratic classrooms is that

teachers and students have a mutual understanding of democracy as an idea and a

sense of satisfaction that the everyday life of the classroom fits that understanding as

much as possible.

4. According to Beane (2005), collaboration between teachers and students, such

as role shift, or students engagement in planning the curriculum, is playing an

important role in deciding the democratic way. No matter how little a kid is, his/her

ideas cannot be ignored. (p. 21)

5. According to Beane (2005), young peoples involvement in making decisions

whenever possible and to whatever degree possible is the way of teaching

democratically. Opportunities have to be provided for students to let their voice out.

6. From Beanes point of view, when it comes to evaluating the democratic way,

not only teachers, students also should be involved in designing evaluations.

Moreover, it is also of great importance to develop their abilities of judging their own


7. According to Beane (2005), the teacher is playing a leading role in a

democratic classroom to provide correct orientation for students to think, discuss, and

react, such as raising crucial questions, recognizing persistent problems, or applying

information and skills.

8. According to Beane (2005), since democracy asks individuals to come together

in groups to address issues, solve problems, and pursue common purposes, democratic

teachers are asked to develop the students a sense of community through creating a

collaborative community, such as collaborative decision making, or curriculum

planning. One rule should be emphasized is: When the opportunity for collaborative

community decision making knocks, the teachers best bet is to open the door for

students rather than trying to figure out what they might find inside.

Personally speaking, this rule makes me realize that not only for the students,
collaborative community decision is also a wonderful chance for teachers to learn

students ideas and thoughts through their eyes, which is beneficial to help teachers

develop themselves for creating better and more effective collaborative community.