What is democracy? “Rule by the people” But more than elections “Democracy is more than a form of government; it is primarily a mode of associated living, of conjoint communicated experience. …each has to refer his own actions to that of others…”
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“Rule by the people”
But more than elections
Democracy is more than
Center for Democracy and Citizenship
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
A way to teach democracy by doing democracy.
Usually a youth program.
Allows youth to act as citizens now on real issues.
Youth work on issues they care about.
Small groups called “teams”
Leaders called “coaches”
Goals of Public Achievement
“Citizenship Schools” of the U.S. Black Civil Rights Movement
Community Organizing Movement
Saul AlinskyOrganizer of working classNon-socialist left
Dr. Martin Luther King jr.
Dorothy CottonDirector Southern Christian Leadership Council Citizenship Education Program.
EuropeNorthern Ireland Belfast
Irish RepublicMonaghan and Cavan
U.S.AMinnesotaMinneapolis St. Paul
MissouriKansas City Maryville
New HampshireManchester Keene
Middle EastPalestine Ramallah
Shane Baier, the DMMS principal
Learning democracy by being democratic
Dr. Joseph Kunkel Political Science 381 Democracy and Citizenship
SeptemberUniversity students trained to coach at Saturday workshopThey learn 1. What is Public Achievement 2. How to get started.
Support U.S. Troops Political Awareness
Stop Domestic Abuse
Pets and Animals
School Decorations Stop Labeling/Stereotypes
Skaters and Skateboard issues
Start Football team
Start Rugby Team
Support U.S. Troops
Trash & Environment Cleanup
Preventing Teen Pregnancy
Stop Child Abuse
Pets and Animals
Homelessness and Poverty
Teen Recreation Center
School Bus Issues
Start Basketball Team
Skaters and Skateboard Issues
Discuss their issue
Speak and listen
Write Mission Statement
Agree on rules or a constitution
Research, surveys, interviewing.
Team building games
Use small group democracy written meeting agendashare rolesKeep written recordsDebate and vote. Plan next meetingsEvaluate themselves
Learn who can help or stop them
Use Political Language
Not all teams realize their goal or complete a major project.
But most takes actions to learn and try to influence others.
take direct action to improve the community.
Teams must discuss their ideas with adults authorities.
Actions and projects must be approved.
Often frustrating but gives real world experience.
Tree Planting at elder housing
Open School Store
Clean up trash at nature area
Assembly to educate about teen depression & suicide
Toys to New York children who lost family in 9/11/01 terrorist attack
Get exercise equipment
Visit law-makers at state capitol
Community Meeting to discuss
teen recreation center
Coaches do not provide authority
Not enough school involvement
Not enough time
Kids don’t pick deep issues
Noisy meeting places
Little work between meetings
Uninterested in concepts
Better assessment of results needed
Coaches learn what groups should do
Kids learn democratic skills
Kids invited to lead
Coaches get experience at school with kids
Kids meet other adults
All learn democracy is something they can do everyday.
Process more important
Mankato PA Website
Syllabus for academic course
“Toolbox” of useful documents
Stories about teams
Book chapter describing Mankato PA
National PA Website
Did you, too, O friend, suppose democracy was only for elections, for politics, and for a party name? I say democracy is only of use there that it may pass on and come to its flower and fruits in manners, in the highest forms of interaction between men, and their beliefs -- in religion, literature, colleges, and schools -- democracy in all public and private life,
Walt Whitman. 1871. Democratic Vistas