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Education for Democracy

In this respect, it differs drastically from the present-day authoritarian education where only a few people make decisions on what and how students should learn and where education has become a monopoly of an elite minority. This is very well observed by Peace Pledge Union: “In democratic education, students have the power to make decisions about their learning because power is shared rather than appropriated in advance by a minority of people. Education, in its various forms, is authoritarian, since one person or small groups of people make decisions about ‘what to learn when to learn, how to learn, how to assess learning and the nature of the learning environment’.” (Education for Democracy). The purpose of this paper is to deal with the basic concepts regarding education for democracy with a special reference to Don Lorenzo Milani and his educational reforms.It is necessary to have a clear cut understanding regarding the type of education propagated by Milani. Don Lorenzo Milani, regarded as one of the greatest Italian educational reformers, believed that the school system needs improvement and he stood for the freedom of individuals to choose the sort of education they needed. He brought about revolutionary changes to the educational scenario and it was he who brought about drastic changes in “the role of educator, denouncing the class nature of the educational Italian and proposing new goals and new tools that could actually meet the needs of the less privileged classes.” (Don Milani). Milani was against all sorts of discrimination in schools and believed that everyone has a right to learn. He held that education should not be something imposed upon students and he advocated voluntary participation from the students in the teaching-learning process. He was a great visionary who insisted that education should be learner-centered and it should be related to learner’s life and daily problems.

Education for Democracy