Essay on Freedom And The Bedrock Of America 's Democracy

1574 Words May 4th, 2016 7 Pages
The above words, so eloquently spoken by Thomas Jefferson, the opening to the Declaration of Independence, are synonymous with freedom and the bedrock of America’s democracy. For the intent of this essay, I will focus on the right to the pursuit of happiness and contend that the liberty beholden by the above statement threatens a democratic education. In order to this, I will answer the following questions: What is a democratic education? How can a democratic education be achieved in a school? How does capitalism and neoliberalism threaten to destroy a democratic education? For the purpose of defining a democratic education, I now turn to Matthew Knoester who states, “in order to educate democratic citizens it is important to create a school that is internally democratic” (2012, p. 14). In response to this statement Knoester turns to Amy Gutmann who proposes a democratic education model that includes shared decision making among educational stakeholders, and a responsibility to nonrepression, expanding worldviews, and nondiscrimination, inclusion of all children (as cited in Knoester, 2012). What this model does is prevent stakeholders from overstepping their authority, makes possible for the rational deliberation necessary for teaching children about various views of the “good life” and provides an opportunity for all students to have the right to an education. In exploring how a democratic education can be achieved, I will use the Mission Hill School in which…

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