Empower Your Child’s Future: Discover the Benefits of Democratic Education

Robin Harwick, Ph.D.
2 min readFeb 4, 2023
Photo by Jarritos Mexican Soda on Unsplash

Democratic education is an empowering, engaging approach to teaching that puts the power and decision-making into the hands of the students. Democratic education differs from the traditional, mainstream system in that democratic education focuses on self-determination, holistic assessment, and community building. Democratic education can offer unforgettable learning experiences with numerous advantages. I want to share with you a few differences between democratic and mainstream education, as well as some benefits of this fantastic approach to learning.

In my classroom, students have a voice and take part in decision-making. I focus on constructing a community and preparing young people to be knowledgeable and kind citizens. My role is one of a facilitator rather than an authoritative figure. The aim is to help students reach the goals that they have set for themselves. Since students have a say in matters that affect them, they also learn to assume responsibility for their decisions and help solve problems as they arise.

Democratic education is based on the principles of democracy and emphasizes the importance of giving students the freedom to make decisions and take control of their learning. As a result, a democratic classroom creates more enthusiastic and engaged students and a more cooperative and supportive educational atmosphere.

Another key difference between democratic and mainstream education is the emphasis on autonomy. In traditional schools, students must often conform to strict rules and regulations, such as when they use the restroom, eat, and dress. In democratic schools, students have body autonomy, allowing them to learn how to care for their physical and mental health. The development of autonomy in democratic education will enable students to learn essential life skills and build self-determination, in contrast to the restrictive environment in traditional schools where the focus is often on compliance.

Democratic education also takes a different approach to assessment compared to conventional schooling. Generally, traditional schools measure students’ performance with standardized tests that do not factor in each student’s strengths and weaknesses. On the other hand, democratic schools approach…

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Robin Harwick, Ph.D.

Author, Educator, Researcher, Survivor, and Youth & Family Advocate. robinharwick.com