Matriellez:- Educating naturally and empowering democratically

Archive for the ‘Empowerment’ Category

Questions or Enquiry

I just received this link in which a teacher was promoting the asking of questions and developing a teaching strategy for this. His strategy appears to me to be asking questions for questions sake, and surprisingly enough this is not always learning.

It reminds me of a boy I met in care. There was nothing remarkable about this boy ie high intelligence etc, but he had learnt a skill from being in care. He was always asking questions. The response to this was quite fascinating. The old hands told him to do as he was told. Younger houseparents felt it necessary to answer his questions, and as a result his years in care had paid off – he had got their attention. They felt they should answer his questions because their rational education demanded that there should be answers. It led to difficult situations as the boy did not care what the answer was, he was just asking to get attention.

This points out the flaw in this teacher’s questioning methodology, he is asking questions for questions sake. His strategy is good in the sense that the students can learn how to formulate questions, but it makes no evaluation of the purpose of the questioning. The boy I met in care would have excelled in this teacher’s class but learnt nothing because the purpose of his questioning was not to learn the answers. One could envisage a situation in this teacher’s class where questions are framed per se, and whether they came up with answers that satisfied a learning objective was irrelevant.

Fruitful questioning requires an objective. Why are you asking a question? Because the teacher told me to. Why are you asking that question? Because I am trying to learn the answer or the solution to a problem, this is enquiry. Many of the question-developing techniques that he proposes would be useful in enquiry but only if the objective is an enquiry as opposed to questions per se.

There is also a certain naivete to this questioning methodology because it does not discuss the necessity for good enquirers to learn to stop asking. On a practical level there is the questioning by students as a “red herring” – manipulating the teacher into a favourite hobby horse in order to avoid work.

But more importantly there are times when questions are not appropriate. In daily life someone might have suffered a personal loss, and asking questions just elicits hurt. And what about uncomfortable questions? Politically questions asked by whistle-blowers are not wanted.

And then there are the legitimate questions that students ask. Middle-low ability students asking why are we learning this, it will be of no use to us. Why do I go to school when I am going to work in my father’s small business? Questioning has limitation, and any discussion of questioning ought to recognise this – except there are good career reasons for not pointing this out.

And there is an important area of enquiry that ought to be discussed when considering questioning, and that is personal enquiry. Turning students in on themselves to try to get genuine enquiry going, this is a questioning methodology that would be of great use in adult life – in terms of personal stability as opposed to commercial worth. It would however require that the teacher has already done this so that they can understand the benefits. But that is a question not to ask!!

Books:- Treatise, Wai Zandtao Scifi, Matriellez Education.

Blogs:- Ginsukapaapdee, Zandtao.



Our understanding of leadership is dominated by our egos. I recently saw this article about leaders in schools, and for me it completely missed the point. A good leader is an enabler. A leader works with the people s/he leads bringing the best out of all of them.

Why is this even questioned? Because of what is imposed on our leaders. Take the school for example. What is the primary purpose of the leader? To educate – far from it. To ensure that the school works within the rules imposed on it by society. This basically means that a school must provide a workforce for the 1%, and ensures failures so that the children of the 1% can be successful. At the same time the leader must ensure that the teachers remain sufficiently demotivated and unaware of the reality of what “education” is supposed to be. Therefore the role of leader is that of repressor without giving away that it is repression.

I recently came across libertarianism again, some of whose analysis is spot on, but whose policy and practice absolutely sucks. One aspect is that they blame a system of government, and what angered me so much about my last encounter with such theoreticians was that his mindset about government meant that he could not allow for my compassion as teacher because I worked for the government even when I told him and showed my compassion towards him. Their mindset is so limiting.

It comes down to the function of government, not in theory but in reality. What are our governments? 1% puppets. What is the function of these puppets? To maintain the delusion that there is a democracy whilst syphoning all the money and assets into the accounts of the 1%. This the government does even when there is such a farce as the Clinton-Trump election. The function of government at the moment is maintaining delusion (as discussed in Lifting the Veil) and facilitating the expropriation of money to the accounts of the few. According to Howard Zinn’s “peoples-history-of-the-united-states-1492-present” the US has always been this way despite what the constitution says, and this would be consistent with history as the US was originally a UK colony and that was UK policy.

But in theory leading is enabling. A team of people can effectively only be successful when all people are working to their optimum, that is straight-forward. When all people are not enabled to do so the leader has failed unless the objective is not to get the best out of people. In most situations in the world today this is not what the leader is tasked to do, and this is also why libertarians and the apologist who wrote the flipboard article all miss the point; fundamentally the article is concerned with maintaining the standard delusion.

A leader evaluates the team, determines their relative strengths and enables them to use their strengths and helps them overcome their weaknesses; this might involve recognition of the weakness and ensuring someone else does the work instead. In many ways the effectiveness of the leader is the ability to maintain a different purpose to that of maintaining repression and delusion but to do that usually involves personal sacrifice, and most leaders have too strong egos to sacrifice themselves on the altar of compassion. Hence many school leaders to do not enable their teachers to educate, and many government do not enable democratic involvement that includes caring for the weaker.

One might further examine governments and the nature of fascism. Here wiki examines fascism. Usually fascism is associated with the right wing, but does it have to? My view of fascism is that it has two components – authoritarianism and the use of the military wing of government to maintain itself. Although I would not describe our neo-liberal electoral democracies as fascist there is a degree of fascism when one analyses in terms of authoritarianism and the use of military.

I begin with an incident with an erstwhile friend. We had known each other for a while, and he had a very good mindset that could be described as Icke-ist. I argued with him that he needed an open mind that was tolerant and did not attach to a mindset; this disturbed him. I could not agree with some of the Icke-ist approaches involving lizards and Illuminati. This came to a confrontation where there was no agreement and I felt so psychically shattered for three days it was worse than if I had been bullied. Here the friend presented his mindset, in effect demanded I accept it and when I didn’t applied use of force, I suspect unconsciously. Is this not the approach of a fascist?

What about western neo-liberal electoral democracies? They demand that we accept the delusion that they are genuinely democratic. We can choose to vote for candidates who ensure the system remains in favour of the 1%, and at times will use the police force to ensure there is no dissent against the prevailing system. Look at some of the atrocities that occurred against the Occupy movement. Whilst it would not be appropriate to describe such systems as fascist, they are authoritarian and do use the military if required. However mostly these neo-liberal societies have a social compliance where in general people accept the systems as they are and are happy with the delusions that are maintained. Usually as well they claim that there is free speech, and point to the lack of free speech as a facit of fascism. But in neo-liberal systems free speech is controlled in the sense that any criticism of the system is countered and the free speech is effectively useless. Such a liberal authoritarianism maintains a delusion but does not have an effective means of change based on democratic will except through a controlled electoral choice. It could be described as fascism without obvious repression.

This neo-fascism or neo-liberalism is what our western leadership is about. It is a style of leadership that does not enable the people in the same way as the leadership styles of the <a href="http://article do not enable teachers and do not enable education. The one good thing about Trump is that as a Republican leader he has exposed the delusion of the Veil in US politics, it will be interesting to see whether there will be any implications of this following the election – that I expect he will lose.

Books:- Treatise, Wai Zandtao Scifi, Matriellez Education.

Blogs:- Ginsukapaapdee, Zandtao.

Shallow Analysis

This article on the teaching of English in Thailand has irritated me – its analysis is so shallow. And it is typical of the colonial aspect of teaching, that western methodology is better.

Firstly the writer cites the case of Khun Dang’s class – students copying from the board. Here are questions connected to that. Did the writer ask Khun Dang if she thought it was good teaching? I would guess not as I suspect she couldn’t speak English. In primary schools the teachers are expected to teach English even though they don’t know it themselves – copying from the board is a compromise. Could the writer teach a Thai class by writing Thai sentences on the board? In an English government secondary school could you get the class to sit quietly and copy from the board? That is those students who hadn’t truanted.

Is formal teaching always wrong? When you listen to western teachers this appears to be the conclusion. Why did formal teaching disappear from British schools? Was it because formal teaching had failed? Now I ask that question fr all the students and nt just the elite. Formal teaching failed the brighter students including those who became the teachers. Such teachers can remember boring lessons in which they tediously fulfilled formal requirements. These teachers became qualified. Did they have questioning minds? Of course not.

Once these teachers started to dominate teaching ethos – starting in the 60s, discipline in the schools went down. Apparently in Thai secondary schools there is too much talking but the discipline is nowhere near as disruptive as UK schools. How can you learn without discipline? How can you begin to teach a questioning mind? And the saddest aspect of this teaching methodology is:-

Can all the students develop a questioning mind?

Show me any evidence that shows that all students can develop a questioning mind. Look at the British population. Since the 60s a more questioning approach has developed in schools, have the population become more questioning? Certainly not, the corporatocracy would never allow it. 40 years later and Tony Blair took the country to war, could that have happened with genuine questioning minds? Not people who bleet because it is expected but genuine questioning minds?

So what are Bill Gates and the others doing when they want critical thinking? They want an elite who will be critical but accept the prevailing paradigm. Is this possible?

So when Thai kids don’t ask questions why do western teachers climb the wall? Quite simple. They don’t understand what education is for. They go to training school and are told education means leading out, and they believe that. Education might mean that but schooling means fitting the school population into society’s status quo. In Thailand that means students cannot be questioning or else why would they accept the social inequalities? But in England it is the same reality that has to be accepted. There are a few who are rich, and mostly those rich inherit it. A few manage to become rich but most spend their time trying to be rich and doing each other down to get there. Maybe Thai business is like that but it appears to be much more pleasant – I don’t know I am retired and never could stomach the business world.

That’s enough, I have vented after the shallow article rattled my cage. It’s going in my Matriellez blog but that’s all. I can’t even be bothered to post it on the facebook-like just to get a Thanks Bill from an apparently equally-shallow analysis.

Books:- Treatise, Wai Zandtao Scifi, Matriellez Education.

Blogs:- Ginsukapaapdee, Mandtao, Matriellez.

Wasted all those years

What a complete waste of my professional life. I started teaching in 1976 in Inner London, and chose to work in an Inner City. I held onto some illusions of self-realisation, but once I started teaching I realised the kids just wanted exam passes. Over the years I learnt to do that better and better. I left the UK in 1993 for many reasons, and lost touch. Thatcher had destroyed manufacturing, and engineered a society where the educated wanted a job. I didn’t like this but I thought that students from all backgrounds had subscried to this appalling ethos, and were getting jobs rather than souls.

I then watched this BBC documentary:-

It’s horrific. Class structure has worsened. Kids are desperate for work experience – unpaid slavery. Rich kids take internships to get jobs – unpaid. I’ve always known British people are prepared to sell themselves but this is crazy. And I don’t just mean white British.

I am actually quite shattered. What was all that fighting for. I should have just taken the money and shut up for all the good it did.

And the teachers interviewed. Ok they interviewed the careerists but these teachers were just training job robots. This is depressing. My mind is spinning, what was I doing?

Blogs:- Zandtao, Mandtao, Matriellez.

Peer Evaluation

Look at this clip on consensus democracy taken from the group at Occupy Wall Street:-

…. this is democracy. This is the democracy that good education should empower. Where has it come from? Apologists for the education system would cliam that it came as a by-product of how these people were educated, but if you ask them they say that they are against the system.

I surmise that it has grown out of similar movements globally. From the movie “The Take” – a discussion of cooperatives that grew out of the financial crisis in Argentina, Horizontalidad worked on a 3-stage process leading to the cooperative:-




Perhaps this is the model that #ows is working on.

What is impressive – as can be seen from the consensus democracy clip above – is that these people are dedicated to genuine democracy. They spend time making decisions, they have a process which ensures that all people who want a voice have one, and they are not satisfied with token representation that enables individuals to be corrupted.

There are criticisms of #ows that appear in the media. Personally I think these criticisms are there as divisive tactics, but I will answer them in terms of democratic principles. Let’s start with the issue of representation. I have discussed it here but to rehash briefly representation allows for an individual to be syphoned away from the collective strength. Whilst it might be easier to discuss between individuals, in practice it was never a disc ussion between equals, and because the membership did not participate there were always doubts around the process. As for representation in a a voting democracy the process has been completely flawed by opportunists seeking power and financed opportunists seeking to subvert democratic power. As a result the current governmental process that some would argue had a democratic basis, in practice leads to a system that supports the corporatocracy – the 1%.

As for demands we have another red herring. What is wrong with the system? It doesn’t work. Why? It doesn’t represent the interests of the people. It is a democratic system that is not democratic. The demand is to call for a democratic system. Isn’t that enough of a demand? What isn’t clear about the demand? What the system actually wants is for the demand to be changed because they are unwilling to deliver it. In the US if Obama actually carried through with his electoral platform there would be the beginning of a reform of the democratic process, but there are evident doubts that what Obama promised were little more than a platform to get votes; certainly the administration he put in place had no intention of implementing his electoral promises. As I wrote here, when a plane breaks down and you ask for it to be fixed you don’t expect the airline to ask you how you want it fixed?

Demands have become a strategy of control in which the powerful are able to mainpulate the process. Take a list of 10 demands, cut them in half and give token agreement to the other five. This is demand negotiation. The existing system of demands and representation has no intention of being successful, and by successful I mean democratic, and that is why for such a long time it is only apologists who have called the system democratic.

The issue of the system as it stands is there is no intention of representing the interest of all the people in the democracy. For a school educating for democracy the education issue is not a discussion of representation but a question of empowerment and the need to develop a sense of collective responsibility as well as responsibility to the collective. This cannot come from a history of democracy or token representation on a school council. It needs to come from genuine power in which students desires can be enabled once established. In schools all the participants of the education process are disempowered, so why would it be different for students? Perhaps the most vehement critics of student representation are the teachers who have seen these students in action. Their demands are generally superficial, such as no homework. But that is because they have been disenfranchised, and they react by being superficial.

There are two areas of democratic involvement that need to be considered:-

Classroom democracy
School democracy

For classroom democracy I have already broached the notion of peer evaluation. OK I am going to place this democracy in a context that makes it practical – within the context of natural development. There comes a time when parents know that they must give their children autonomy, I suggest this time comes at the time of Piaget’s fourth stage. I have already described the notion of autonomous mastery. This autonomy is developed throughout the school as part of WCAM, but if it is not empowered in some way then this autonomy will not yield democracy. Using Piaget’s model thios autonomy is going to come to feruition during the fourth stage of conceptual thinking, and it is at this stage their autonomy needs to gain substantive power. This can begin with the quality portfolio being peer-assessed. Earlier in the school there copuld havee been dry runs but at the stage of year 10 they coujld actually create the quality portfolio. How? Earlier in the school whilst encouraging the autonomy the teacher can begin to explin trhe values of critical assessment for example. by thed time students are in year 10 they would understand these values. With the evaluation dry runs they will have seen how their evaluations fit in woth these criteria and what is ewxpected by their teachers and by their peers – the fellow students. Once such evaluations become meaningful students will demonstrate collective reponsibility.

The radical aspect of this proposal comes in school democracy. Initially that sounds a daunting prospect to allow immature people to evaluate their education but in truth the evaluation is a only a problem if the education system is not designed for all the students. In other words if the system is designed for student failure how can their involvement be constructive as such an objective is not in their interest. The negativity which many students adopt when interfacing with the education system is a clear indication that deep inside they recognise that failure inherent in the system. Perhaps they don’t attribute that failure to design as do I and a number of others (John Taylor Gatto, Alfie Kohn, etc.). When whole communities become alienated – including those initially motivated to participate (as in the case of the UK Afro-Caribbean community in the 60s and 70s), there needs to be a recognition from the authorities that the system needs fixing. Attempting any of the educational changes I have proposed cannot work in this system within the corporate paradigm designed to fail the 99%, but if it were a system to educate 100% then there is no reason for the 100% not to participate. And there would therefore be no reason to assume that peer assessment and evaluation cannot work – no reason to believe that the students could not work within a school run by consensus democracy.

In fact once you begin to open your minds to the possibility of students actively participating in their own education then you can begin to expand your educational objectives. Who knows the students better than the teachers? The students. If their evaluation could be trusted how much more useful information could be taken from school to the workplace? As a Buddhist I know that which is lacking most in society and that which is most needed is sila – moral integrity. If you look at Zandtao , you will see that sila is the basis for the Path and and for a happy mature life. Suppose you add sila to the Quality Portfolio, who best can assess the moral integrity of those in the class than the students themselves? Of course the arguments used against such an approach are based around current behaviour of adolescents in school. We assume that jock-worship or cheerleader egotism is inherent in adolescents, why? These are responses to their environments – schools that are failing them. If schools become places where adolescents participate, then we have students supporting each other. Then we have the best judges.

Some of the classes I taught the students were motivated. Within all classes there are far more dynamics than teachers are aware of, how can teachers be that aware? They are not included in all activities. Do the students know who are the best at a subject? Of course. If I taught a technique they soon knew who had grasped it. As I always encouraged work-based discussion (as opposed to chatting) conversation occurred about the work – hopefully, and this meant that the solution tended to get passed on from the best to the worst. This was not students asking all before finding the correct answer – they knew. They did not wait for assessments to know who had grasped the ideas, they knew. They also knew who would cooperate, who was good, who would work with each other and so on. They knew. Students know so much – even about you the teacher. At the moment that knowledge of the teacher is used disruptively – when the teacher is at a low ebb we can have fun etc. But what if that knowledge could be used in assessment positively? This is what I envisage with peer assessment through the quality portfolio. Then not only will we get work-based evaluations as we do at present – who has passed which exam, we get skill-based assessment with the attribute of the quality portfolio I discussed before – insight, critical thinking etc., but we also get different qualities that teahers cannot assess the best – peer collaboration, sila etc.

Through Occupy I have learnt the value of consensus democracy in the classroom, and this has led to an improved Quality Portfolio. Sad really as all this improved education is based around a system designed to educate – not the corporate paradigm design of failure. Schools are designed to create the 99%. Sad.

Changing the teacher’s mindset

When I first started thinking about the four components of Matriellez education:-

Corporate Paradigm
Natural Development
Quality Portfolio
Wifi Classroom

…. then initially I feel there is little to be altered when considering democratic empowerment; but then I began to think:-

“Why did the realisation of the changing approach to democracy at Occupy affect me?”

And the answer is clear I needed a change in mindset. I was the teacher in the classroom leading the students to knowledge. Typically as a maths teacher I would put an example on the board, use inclusive techniques to get the students to follow, then help them practise. In terms of exam results this tended to work for those who wanted to pass. But it is all leadership, it all revolved around my telling them stuff they should learn to pass an exam, I was the leader of knowledge, they accepted this, and they tried to pass or fail. But they just accepted. Isn’t this the current failing in democracy? Some people pass by participating in the so-called democracy as some form of representative, others get what they want from the government by voting – and if they don’t they maybe try to do something about it, but most people just accept that nothing can be done. What happens in the classroom is mirrored in daily life.

Change the teacher’s mindset. Whilst the teacher has more knowledge this is not the theoretical purpose of education, the original purpose of education is to bring out from within – educare – latin. How can that happen if knowledge is imposed from outside? Mindsets need to change to bringing out, and the key to this is student confidence. Students need the confidence to genuinely express themselves – not the false expression that comes with fear and territory. Give them the confidence to express from the heart.

This problem is seriously difficult for the teachers. At present there are a significant proportion of teachers who believe that once the material has been taught that is the end of the process. If students then fail tests it is because they have failed to learn or consolidate the material. More enlightened teachers begin to consider ongoing assessment as a means of recognising whether students have learnt and adjust their teaching strategy accordingly – evaluation from assessment. But these approaches lie within the exam ambit, they are approaches that lead up to exams, what is taught is governed by those exams, and how much of what is learnt depends on the understanding of the students and the qualities of the teacher.

All is fixed by the exam and delivered by the teacher, and little is left to the innovation of the student. This is not usually a bone of contention with the students. Most accept that they have to pass exams, many will blame the teacher as not being “good” – or worse adjectives, equally many will blame themselves, but few will blame the test and almost none would say that the test is designed for them to fail. The nearest expression concerning the content is expressing the sentiment “what is the point? I’m bound to fail.” The teacher mutters encouraging platitudes and life goes on.

But what if we attempted to change these mindsets? What if the teacher did not have to deliver a set curriculum, and what if the student were judged on knowledge or understanding they have obtained independent of any curriculum?

Previously I have not discussed curriculum as it matters little when you consider the problems the corporatocracy creates. The curriculum is an adjunct to the testing. Take my subject maths – a subject that most curricula globally consider core. The corporatocracy is not concerned whether students learn maths, the maths that the CEOs need is carried out by computers and analysts, it is the mindset that is the result of the education process that is needed. And that mindset comes from accepting the education system as it is delivered in all its aspects and conforming to it with top marks – no matter what is delivered. Once you have been inculcated into the school system, then the next step is to be inculcated into the business system conforming to all its aspects – including its heartlessness – in order to gain top positions. Every business is different and therefore a curriculum learnt at school is not important except as a structure for providing conformity.

In school the measure of conformity is the testing. Everything is geared towards the tests, and the essence of testing is that a few pass and most fail. Suppose all these appalling carrot and stick impositions currently being placed on teachers’ salaries actually worked and they were able to get blood from the stone – exam successes, the authorities would simply move the goalposts – they do not want everyone to pass especially those who have not been oriented to accepting the prevailing system – the status quo. The exoteric curriculum is just a statement of attainments vaguely connected to the tests mattering little, the esoteric curriculum of creating failure and conformity is the essential curriculum that the corporatocracy is interested in.

Once you introduce the quality portfolio the issue of testing is not a problem – there are no measures connected to failure. But in terms of empowerment it is essential to consider the value of the curriculum. For democratic empowerment we want students to learn and be confident in their learning. Firstly this means the removal of testing, testing empowers only a few. Now the quality portfolio assesses educational aspects such as critical thinking, insight and whatever other value-orientated criteria is placed on the QP. Such a QP will not reference knowledge attainments, and knowledge attainment is what is essentially contained in a syllabus. So this empowerment, or autonomous mastery, removes the need for syllabi. What other aspects of the curriculum is there? Once you go beyond the basic skills of early years education such reading and writing – as discussed earlier as WARC (in Chapter 9), there is the accepted balance of subjects, arts, science and social science – as well as a certain amount of physical development. Then there is an acculturalisation element, not usually much, what might be contained in civics. Now how much of these components relate to autonomous mastery – empowerment?

In a sense that question is completely rhetorical – almost irrelevant. If the student is determining their own learning through their own autonomous mastery, then curricular knowledge attainment is irrelevant. In terms of this mastery what matters is the process, the determination, the level of innovation, and their methodology of learning, all of these demonstrate mastery and can be evaluated on the QP.

Curriculum and testing become a thing of the past as the student seeks their own knowledge – and their own empowerment through attainment of that knowledge and the mastery thereof. Evaluation of that knowledge becomes an essential vehicle for empowerment. If the learning approach is able to deliver an environment to enable autonomous mastery, the evaluation thereof is the essence of the empowerment. There are two aspects to this empowerment. The first aspect is the autonomous mastery, the student empowers themselves through the attainment of knoweldge by their own mastery gaining a confidence in their own abilities. This is very important but empowerment doesn’t stop there, this mastery needs also to be recognised by society, that recognition eseentially cones from the teacher at the moment. So despite a better educational method we are still stuck with the leader complex – the teacher.

Much of this leader complex that exists in our current education system has been obviated by Matriellez as the teacher is not seen as the deliverer of knowledge but the student is seen as the discoverer of knowledge – the master of their own learning. This is not as ridiculous as perhaps it might first seem. What about those first drawings of mummy and daddy? Objectively compared to Turner or Picasso they are pathetic, but they are mastery for that stage of development. Parents have no trouble in empowering that mastery. Imagine if at that stage the child were asked to pass a test on whether that drawing could pass Art 101 (or an appropriate level) how disillusioned and unmotivated those children would become. At home parental love encourages the students, in many cases in primary classrooms the teacher’s love adds encouragement, but in the end the student’s mastery is put to the sword by the testing system and they become failures.

For the QP the evaluation of that “drawing” or any piece of work needs to reflect their process, personal mastery and an objective mastery. This is very difficult. For this evaluation to be democratically empowering it needs to be democratically done – peer evaluation. Aaagh! To me that sounds gross for something as important as the QP being taken into the world of work, yet from all accounts peer evaluation works. It is not something I have tried as I am old school leading as teacher. Peer assessment with teacher arbitration, can that work?

I must reflect on it. It is certainly democratic. My first reflection is the appalling cliques that exist in school in which the biggest jock is the most popular and this might lead to “jock” favouritism or “cheerleader” favouritism. At the same time the most intelligent in our current system often become outcasts, an image they often choose to cultivate – geeks. If such were the criteria of peer evaluation for the QP then that would lead to a dumbing-down of education – even lower than it already is. But if the education model were changed and these popular students were not failures and therefore envious of the academically successful, perhaps peer evaluation could work. If the teacher provides the sole evaluation then there is no democracy, if the evaluation is solely peer the wrong attributes might be the criteria – not on paper but a downgrading based on emotion, with the teacher as arbitrator there might be a balance.

I need to look into this peer evaluation as a genuine form of democratic empowerment.