My name is Will Heck, and I am absolutely fascinated by the practice we studied in the Progressivism chapter that had to do with letting students establish their own rules in the classroom. This practice seems to exemplify the Progressive virtue of partnering with students. I was also fascinated by it because it is an excellent example of student centered classroom where the teacher is more of a guide/coach than an expert.
I first learned about this practice in a KNEA-SP meeting here at Kansas State University. We were in a presentation about classroom management theories, and this practice instantly caught my attention as something I could resonate with, and will attempt within my own classroom. It will involve meeting with the students early in the school year for a detailed discussion of what makes a safe,welcoming, classroom where they feel they can learn, and also feel safe to share their opinions. Once this discussion is complete we, as a class, will attempt to formalize these rules into a coherent list. After this step is complete I will personally review these rules and see if there are any glaring omissions. Present these rules in a contract form for the students to sign. I will keep these rules posted in the classroom, and will discipline my class according to these rules.
As I hope to teach middle school social studies I hope to link this practice to a discussion about the different forms of government that exist in the world, and the processes those systems use to pass laws. I think that this process of creating class rules in this environment will help student by in, as well introduce some key ideas about civics, and government.