The following quotations are from:

bell hooks, “Democratic Education,” from Teaching Community: A Pedagogy of Hope

“Authoritarian practices, promoted and encouraged by many institutions, undermine democratic education in the classroom. By undermining education as the practice of freedom, authoritarianism in the classroom dehumanizes and thus shuts down the ‘magic’ that is always present when individuals are active learners. It takes the ‘fun out of study’ and makes it repressive and oppressive. Authoritarian professors often invest in the notion that they are the only ‘serious’ teachers, whereas democratic educators are often stereotyped by their more conservative counterparts as not as rigorous or as without standards. This is especially the case when the democratic educator attempts to create a spirit of joyful practice in the classroom. In Pedagogy of the Heart, Paulo Freire contends that democratic educators ‘must do everything to ensure an atmosphere in the classroom where teaching, learning, and studying are serious acts, but also ones that generate happiness.’” 43-44

“Conversation is the central location of pedagogy for the democratic educator. Talking to share information, to exchange ideas is the practice both inside and outside academic settings that affirms to listeners that learning can take place in varied time frames (we can share and learn a lot in five minutes) and that knowledge can be shared in diverse modes of speech. Whereas vernacular speech may seldom be used in the classroom by teachers it may be the preferred way to share knowledge in other settings. When educational settings become places that have as their central goal the teaching of bourgeois manners, vernacular speech and languages other than standard English are not valued. Indeed, they are blatantly devalued. While acknowledging the value of standard English the democratic educator also values diversity in language.” 44-45