In a democratic classroom, teacher and students strive to create a participatory learning community (Wade, 1997), a community where the voices and needs of all are respected and valued by the members of that community. Democratic education involves connecting with the larger community through meaningful, hands-on involvement. According to John Dewey, "schools should be democratic laboratories of learning closely linked to community need" (National Youth Leadership Council, 1991, p. 4). Therefore, the focus of a democratic classroom should be on responsible participation from all members of the classroom community.
Nitschke-Shaw, Debra, "New England College Pre-Service Teacher Service Learning Guidebook" (1998). Guides. 14.