Common Place: David Fleming Quote

“[A]n education [. . .] that was designed to support a truly direct, deliberative democracy [. . .] would be an education oriented to the ‘strong publics’ of decision-making rather than the ‘weak publics’ of opinion formation. “(David Fleming 205).

After reading this quote the first time, I was rather confused by what it meant so I decided to break it up by sections to see if that helped me. The first section is “An education… that was designed to support a truly direct, deliberative democracy”. What I think that Fleming is saying here is that education in America is designed to teach students how to function in a democratic society. The second section of the quote is, “Would be an education oriented on the strong publics of decision-making”. Here Fleming is saying that education is based on what he calls the “strong publics of decision-making” which I think means the process society goes through when making decisions. The last section is, “rather than the ‘weak publics’ of opinion formation”. I think what Fleming is inferring is that people who form their own unpopular opinion are considered weak in our democratic society. So when I piece everything together I think that what Fleming is saying is that if education was set up to raise students to be effective in a democratic society, then it would favor popular decision-making over individual opinion forming. I think that he is making a comment on how in society a lot of times it is seen as better to follow the masses then stand out by being an individual.

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