How do you teach democracy? If we look at how schools are designed, do they promote or hinder our ability to create active and informed citizens? One of the reasons, I got into education is to help students find their voices. To create a space that welcomes and helps students become critical thinkers. On Monday, I sat around a table with a very diverse group of students. They were destined for the State Capitol in Minnesota for the Charter School Day at the Capitol. Organized by the Minnesota Association of Charter Schools, staff members arranged meetings with Representatives and our students. Below is an excerpt of a blog students wrote:
So far, the senators and representatives we’ve met with have responded positively and have listened to our opinions on the issues. One representative mentioned accountability and supporting charter schools that get results. We feel that there is so much more to learning and showing what we’ve learned than by just judging results by our test scores. What we’ve been trying to show them is that we’re more than just numbers in a system. (See the whole blog: Charter School Day at the Capitol)
To me her comments speak volumes. In that short quote she encapsulates the concept that people want to be seen for who they are, not the sum of the products they produce. I don’t know if the Representative heard her and was swayed, but her voice rings true. Real people are behind policies, and we need to see into the future what the consequences will be on those most affected by them. Today’s lesson in democracy is concluded. You are dismissed.