Originally posted on Cooperative Catalyst:
The problem with answering this question is that most people have a limited scope and understanding as to the role and purpose of education in general never mind when we start to discuss its importance in a democracy. It’s the juxtaposition of articulating a clear role of education in a democracy as well as the purposes of education beyond the traditional perceptions of the citizenry as a means to unlocking doors that are expected to lead to a democracy or the sustainability thereof.
What this means is that we need to expand on our own definitions of democracy and understand that isolating those definitions according to individual circumstances is not only an option but necessary. By default, this means that any answer that anyone gives you to this question is automatically wrong, biased, and subject to widespread criticism. That’s also why every answer deserves an audience and to be considered by each of us that lives in our own isolated environments. So that once we get to the point at which the author currently lives, we can build upon those ideals and contribute our own identities in a constant effort to develop and improve the lives of all individuals around the world.
Education should work to develop a constituency that is knowledgeable in evaluating options based upon available evidence and criterion that impacts his or her life. Does this mean that education needs to pump out cerebral studs to be deemed a positive contribution to democracy? Absolutely not. Education as a contribution to democracy has nothing to do with our traditional elitist views that an educated citizenry is comprised of those who have 4.0s and take seven AP classes. Say it with me: educated decisions.