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More than 60 years ago, 48 countries signed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. With this act, the United Nations took a stand to declare that "all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights," and "all peoples and all nations . . . shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms." Educators in a modern democratic society keep this spirit alive by ensuring that their students become active, well-informed, and caring citizens. In order to do so, schools must commit to the essentials of a democratic education: freedom, discussion, involvement, and equality (see below for more information).
An education which prepares young people for active participation in democratic society is a critical element of any whole child approach to education, and reflects best practices in curriculum and instruction across all content areas. It fulfills the civic mission of schools and reflects a deep understanding of the global economy and society in which young people from all walks of life participate.
Learn about the American model of democratic education
Learn more about the four essentials of democratic education
The articles in this section have been organized by the essential elements of a democratic education.
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The following books explore the various essentials of democratic education. See free sample chapters, study guides, and author interviews through the links below.
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