Since the founding of the United States, many Americans have recognized the “fragility and rarity” of democracy (Michelli & Keiser, 2005, p. 246). As a result, many have called for schools to inculcate the values of democracy in American youth (Barber, 1994). As one would expect, the nature of these calls has shifted over time as the perceived needs of the nation have fluctuated. This paper is yet another call for democratic education, an education that is as Ayers (2009) argues “eye-popping and indblowing”
(p. 3), an education that not only promotes and inspires democratic dispositions, knowledge, and values in students, but leads
students through and engages them in the deliberative and collaborative processes of democracy. While contemporary scholars have called for democratic education at the K-12 level in order to increase civic participation (Apple & Beane, 2007; Ayers, 2009; Collins, 2009; Mitra & Serriere, 2015), I join the ranks of those scholars who call for the democratization of teacher education programs as a means to that same end. Soder (1996) explains that while “much has been said about the importance of schools in a democracy…many of those very same people…lapse into uncharacteristic silence as to the education of educators in these matters” (p. 249). In the twenty years since Soder made this claim, more has indeed been written, but arguably the silence around democratic teacher education has been raised to barely a whisper.