Teaching and Learning Democratically in a Public High School: Challenges Presented in a High-Stakes Environment

Diana L. Satterfield


The New York State Board of Regents adopted the Common Core Curriculum, the implementation increased testing requirements and rigidity in classrooms. However well-intentioned, standardization and increased testing conflict with theories and research that support authentic learning and collaboration. Implementing methods to empower and engage students can feel nearly impossible within a high stakes environment. This article discusses the findings of an action research study conducted to explore ways for teachers to engage students to become active participants in both teaching and learning. Students were encouraged to explore a democratic learning environment in which they worked collaboratively to develop lesson plans for social studies that adhered to state requirements. The findings showed a profound shift in perceptions of teaching and learning by students and teacher.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.22158/fce.v1n1p63


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