rtunities to express opinions, as well as share stories and experiences; inviting students to speak up and ask questions; and even to express contentions and disagreement to arguments. The educational environment in the U.S. perfectly encourages principles of democracy in education through voicing out what is in one’s mind whether or not, it is supportive of the educators’ points of views and perspectives. Critical and analytical thinking and expressing of one’s thoughts, concepts, and ideas are frequently encouraged.
Nothing conflicted with this standard as compared to a culturally diverse elementary school I went to over 20 years ago. There was no democracy in the classroom back then. The teacher would always be the one to choose what we do and how to do it. Critical thinking was not encouraged at all. When an educational structure or any educator imposes one’s thoughts and actions to another, the principles of democracy would be deemed violated. However, one must realize that democracy in education must be practiced while adhering to rules of conduct and discipline along the standards enumerated within a learning environment. As emphasized in the discourse on Democratic Principles in Education, “discipline in an educational institution is closely related to the behaviour of both teachers and pupils, their motives and their understanding of each other” (Unit 4: Democratic Principles in Education 55). Therefore, as early as elementary education, molding the appropriate principles of democracy in education should be inculcated by teachers to establish the appropriate foundation for respect, understanding and discipline.
As a future teacher, the methods by which a classroom climate would promote the standard of adhering to the principles of democracy in education are: (1) respecting that each student is unique and diverse whose needs and competencies differ and therefore should be addressed according to the development of a “balanced and harmonious