As is promised in LREI’s mission statement, “Students graduate from our diverse community as active participants in our democratic society,…” Elisabeth Irwin and three of her early colleagues, in the language of the times, shares their thoughts on this important endeavor.
Cultivating critical citizenship, social conscience, and democratic values were core objectives of the LRSH and its teachers. The 1930s, were a decade marked by economic depression, a rising tide of totalitarianism that rejected democracy, and increasing skepticism in the United States about the capacity of progressive pedagogy to a lay firm foundation for the nation’s democratic way of life through democratic education. Elisabeth Irwin and three of her colleagues produced an eloquent explanation of how establishing democracy as a way of life throughout the LRSH community in the daily life of the school was the best enemy of totalitarianism.
Please click HERE to enjoy this collection, written in the early days of the Little Red School House, which describes examples of how the school fulfilled one of its founding principles.