How democratic is your class?

The Year 6 students did an interesting experiment today, for our unit on government systems and human rights. We arbitrarily split the kids into ‘blacks’ and ‘whites’ then outlined the different rights (or lack there-of) each group were to have for the day. It was definitely unfair and lacking in equality, the idea being that the students would grasp the importance of equality and having human rights for all.

The students were up in arms! They tweeted their frustration, wrote me letters arguing for change, made placards, wrote petitions, read out Martin Luther King’s speech to the class and generally caused a ruckus! It was incredibly interesting to observe and a really powerful learning experience.

The really intriguing thing though, was the differences in reaction between the classes. The kids in my class were proactive and took action to make change as a collective group. I think this is because they are used to having a voice and operating in a really democratic classroom. They have become accustomed to having a say, instigating change and solving problems within the class collectively.

In the end, I was really proud of the students. They are the ones that will make a difference  and make changes in our world. Our class is no dictatorship, and nor should it be.

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