How serious are we – U.S. schools and educators – about educating citizens for our American democracy?
How many of our schools allow for, or even promote, student governments that model and mirror the three-part system of our governmental system?
Imagine a high school that elected two senators for each grade level. Imagine that high school electing representatives for each grade level, based on population of the grade level. Or perhaps advisories or homerooms could provide for the “state” structure to mimic.
What if there were a true judiciary of the student body, elected and appointed just in the same mechanisms as our U.S., state, and municipal judiciaries?
What if there were a true executive branch of the student government, elected and empowered in the same manner and mechanism as our President, governors, and mayors?
Imagine that such a system started in elementary school, progressed through middle school, and culminated in high school.
Over the years, how might our democratic citizenship be “practiced” in the ways of leading and participating in our civic structure and responsibilities?
Imagine a student or group of students who became so passionate about such an idea that they made it happen. Image if they lived the lessons they are being taught in U.S. History and Government classes.
What system of government are students actually practicing in school? Is it a representative democracy? Is it a relative dictatorship? I wonder what that’s teaching them over 13 years.
What if they lived and practiced the system that we want them to take responsibility for? What if we operated school in the ways that would more authentically educate a citizen of our democracy?
Imagine. Make happen. What are the possibilities?
I am thinking of writing a series of blog posts about project ideas that could happen within a school – projects that could both transform school and, ultimately, transform us beyond school. This is my first prototype. I’d love to know what you think.