Jacob Maslow
Fiat justitia ruat caelum

Israel’s Democratic Schools Put Students in Control

The schooling system has remained fundamentally the same in public schools, but with the rise of the Internet and students wanting to be more involved, “democratic” schools are starting to form.

Public school systems have been largely controlled by local governments, and everyone follows a curriculum. Students have little say in what goes on in their schools or during their everyday lives.

Democratic schools allow students to have an equal vote.

These students are taking control of their schooling, choosing what goes on at their school. Students have the right to be able to choose which teachers also get hired, and this alternative method of schooling sheds light into the future education systems of the world.

While Israel’s democratic schools are unofficial, they are recognized much in the same way that ultra-Orthodox schools are recognized.

Students in these schools decide how they learn, and they decide how the school is ran. By giving students this “power,” it’s possible to get them more engaged with their schooling and ultimately be less restrained when it comes to their learning.

There are, of course, drawbacks to these types of schools. Let’s say a student doesn’t like English class, the student can choose to never write their essay to complete the class. Children can also choose to not go to Math class for years, and this may result in the student learning basic arithmetic much later in life. Material may also be forgotten over time, so the student is at a major disadvantage when they do decide to return to class.

Benefits do exist with this level of freedom in a child’s education. The child will be allowed to focus on the subjects they prefer, but they could also miss out on basic subject material, too. Control is up to the child, and they will be the dictator of their own success or failure in school.

Pupils are trusted to do what’s in their own best interest.

Committees are also elected, allowing students to decide if a visitor can enter the school, or what budget changes should be allowed. Even court systems have been created in the schools to allow students to bring cases against each other. If someone is bullying another student, the matter will go in front of the court.

Those that encourage democratic schools claim that by letting go of all of the restrictions of normal schools, students are able to become adults. Students learn how to take control of their own lives, and even better, students also have the ability to learn in a manner that is best suited to their needs.

Every school is different, but options are traditionally given to students at the beginning of the year on what lessons they want to learn. “Trial” periods are also incorporated into some schools, allowing kids to essentially test out classes that they believe they’ll like and can then change classes as they see fit.

Students are allowed free time, and when they sign up for a class, they’re committed to the class, being encouraged to attend the class for the remainder of the year.

While it may take some time for parents to adjust to this new way of schooling, it may help the younger generations feel a sense of pride and freedom when going to school.

About the Author
 Jacob Maslow is passionate about writing and has started numerous blogs and news sites. Jacob is originally from Brooklyn. He packed up his five children and made Aliyah in 2014. Jacob's experience and varied interests lend themselves to a diverse palette of topics ranging from technology, marketing, politics, social media, ethics, current affairs, family matters and more. In his spare time, Jacob enjoys being an active member of social media including groups on Facebook and taking in the latest movies. 
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