The concept of developing democratic classrooms for social action has been largely influenced by the scholarship of John Dewey. Dewey defined democracy as a way of defining a culture, a way of living together, and a way of communicating. In a democratic society, he thought, education must embrace the personal interest of those involved while at the same time encourage social change. Highlighting qualities of participation, freedom, interest, and social relationships, democratic principles must be a consistent theme within the public schools so that a democratic way of living may become a future reality, Dewey believed. Public schools, then, ought to be places that teach thinking processes rather than focus on memorization and acquisition of compartmentalized skills or facts. They should become miniature communities, ...

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