Chapter 3

The Functional Relationships Between Democracy and Education at the Micro Level

Ayşe Ottekin Demirbolat

Abstract

This chapter addresses the micro level functional relationships between democracy and education. The functional relationship between education and democracy at the macro level was dealt with in Chapter 2 and it was pointed out that the objective of the internalization of knowledge and awareness of democracy by all citizens cannot be achieved independent of the administrational and economic policies of the state. At the micro level, the same objective cannot be realized independent of the attitudes and behaviors of the teachers and the climate of classroom environments. </p><p> While the macro level education-democracy relationship emphasizes the objective of “providing every citizen with knowledge and awareness of democracy”, the principal aim of the micro level relationship is “the reflection of this knowledge and awareness onto real life and their transformation into behavior”. This transformation requires a democratic climate and appropriate conditions for action in educational environments. To create these conditions, classroom environments should have an atmosphere of trust and freedom, as well as democratic communication and interaction. </p><p> In the creation of such an atmosphere, the teacher supports independent and scientific thought, involves the student in the process of producing knowledge, creates supportive milieu, facilitates access to information, applies firm disciplinary policies, keeps avenues of claiming rights open, provides opportunities for participating in the decision-making process, shares responsibilities with the student and creates a collaborative classroom environment that sustains the “us” feeling.

Total Pages: 27-38 (12)

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