Democracy in the Classroom
By Ms. Gretchen
Today in elementary we revisited an issue that the children voiced at the end of the year last year. We made up our list of rules to help keep peace in the classroom and they were quite general, but today we talked about the rule we have had about not wearing hats inside the school. Especially the boys found this frustrating as they like to wear their baseball caps all the time. At the end of last year, we talked about why we had this rule and that it was a matter of respect traditionally. The teachers discussed this over the summer and felt that perhaps it was a bit “old-fashioned” to impose this rule as now days it seems that men and boys wear hats inside as much as outside.
The class unanimously voted to allow the wearing of hats in school. We have officially changed this rule and everyone seems happy about it. We told them it was because we listened to them when they shared their opinion and decided it certainly was worthy of discussion to see how they really felt about it, so it all turned out well. If you see the children wearing hats in the school, now you know why.
This may seem like a simple matter, but I would like you to consider for a moment, the heart of the matter. The question we must ask ourselves is “How can we expect our children to become contributing citizens of a participatory democracy if they have not been allowed to participate, that is to share their voices and be heard?” This short story tells so much about the heart and soul of Benedicite Education. This is not a one-off story; this is the everyday life of a student at BE.
Voice + Choice = Engagement → Learning