13 teachers have bought my "Democracy..." product. I am an award winning teacher (see profile) who has taught at HS, college and Senior Citizen levels. I also teach in the Education Dept at a local university, so I am privy to a lot of ways in which you can get students involved and interested.
This product engages the student in analyzing democracy. Students (in pairs or individually) will be asked to come up with a preliminary definition of democracy at the beginning of the lesson. Then they’ll amend their definition making it more nuanced and sophisticated as they’re confronted by a variety of thought provoking questions, such as the following:
1) The official name for North Korea is the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Communist East Germany was officially named the German Democratic Republic. The People’s Republic of China is ruled by the Communist Party. Are they indeed democratic? By what logic?
2) Adolph Hitler was democratically elected!
3) Churchill said that democracy was the worst form of government except for all the others. Was he right?
4) Of the 8 candidates who ran for the Presidency of Colombia in 1990, only 4 were still alive at the time of the election. Four of them had been assassinated. The one thing each of the assassinated candidates had in common was that they had all declared that they were going to crack down on the drug trade if they were elected. Would this be considered a democratic election?
5) Thomas Jefferson stated that “a democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where 51% of the people can take the rights away from the other 49%.” Was he right?
After each of the 15 prompts, students will be asked to amend their definitions of democracy, making them much more comprehensive and sophisticated.