The fostering of democratic norms in the school depends, to a great extent, the way authority is used within the school system.
The handling of the ‘authority question,’ is no doubt, very ticklish but if there is concentration of authority only in one person or a few select ones democratic values can be seriously endangered and though deep and bitter divergences are found in the very nature of the democratic use of authority, if harmony is to be maintained within the school system a free discussion of views in tune with democratic values must be facilitated.
The use of authority is not restricted to the staff alone. Even at the level of students there should be a free and fair use of authority. Delegated authority is the perfect system of authority. Even among students there can be two types of headers.
The autocratic leaders believe in dictating terms, destructive criticism and breeding hostility and distrust. Whereas the democratic leaders on the other hand believe in giving encouragement to others, offer constructive criticism and strengthen cordial relationships within the group. It is, indeed, needless to say that autocratic leader creates an unhealthy social climate in the school and becomes an obstacle to the enforcement of democratic norms.
A healthy social climate in a school can be forthcoming only if there exists among its members mutual harmony and co-operation and academic work is allowed to be carried on in an authority free atmosphere.
To conclude it can be said that the school is a system of individuals and relationships. The school is a miniature social system that can prepare the young to shoulder responsibilities and help them to step into their adult roles.
This small unit called the school can initiate the young effectively into the ways of a larger social system, the society.