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Tytuł pozycji:

The Lure of Autocratic Education in a Somewhat Democratic Society

Tytuł :
The Lure of Autocratic Education in a Somewhat Democratic Society
Autorzy :
Coulter, Xenia; Herman, Lee
Źródło :
Athens Journal of Education, v7 n4 p331-352 Nov 2020. 22 pp.
Dostępność :
Athens Institute for Education & Research. 8 Valaoritou Street, Kolonaki, Athens 10671, Greece. e-mail: ; Web site:
Recenzowane naukowo :
Deskryptory :
Democracy, Authoritarianism, Teaching Methods, Governance, Educational Practices, Educational Philosophy, Dialogs (Language), College Faculty, Teacher Attitudes, Teacher Student Relationship, Student Diversity, Learning Activities, Cooperative Learning, Inquiry, Thinking Skills, Power Structure, Decision Making, Learning Processes, College Students, Efficiency, Progressive Education, Questioning Techniques, Institutional Mission, College Administration
Abstractor :
As Provided
Liczba referencji :
Język :
Liczba stron :
Education Level :
Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Typ publikacji :
Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Kod czasopisma :
Data wpisu :
Numer akcesji :
Czasopismo naukowe
The United States (US) has since its inception considered the education of its citizens as critical for preserving democracy. The recent attractiveness of autocratic leaders, not only in the US but across the world, raises questions about the dominant educational model now in place. We argue that the authoritarian and business-oriented structure and the information delivery model of learning today produce students who learn to rely on ready-made answers from those in authority. We describe, in contrast, the educational practices and philosophies of John Dewey and Socrates that expect students to find and evaluate their own answers. We also describe our experiences as professors in an American public university that for some time promoted through its policies and procedures equality between teacher and student and diversity among students through individualized learning activities. The result, we argue, were students comfortable with dialogic learning, collaborative inquiry, and independent thinking. We also describe how, despite its initial promise, our college, along other such schools, could not be sustained. We suggest that while the fragility of democratic education may be due to external factors over which we have no control, it is also due to certain human traits: a predisposition for efficiency and immediate decision-making, which makes it difficult to acknowledge ignorance or engage in self-examination; and the need for control, the lure of power and its corollary, the will to submit. If teachers would critically examine their reliance upon lectures, textbooks, and exams and consider other models of teaching, we believe they could, within their own classrooms, create communities of dialogue, collaboration, and free thought. We call upon both teachers and students to explore ways of learning that are inherently democratic and will help democracy, not autocracy, flourish in society and all its institutions.

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