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Education for democracy: Some basic definitions, concepts and clarifications

Perry, L.B. (2003) Education for democracy: Some basic definitions, concepts and clarifications. Political Crossroads, 11 (2). pp. 33-42.


Many educational theorists and comparativists make assumptions about the relationship between education and democracy that may lead to culturally biased conceptions. First, they frequently limit theory to in-school, micro-level processes and structures, such as particular civics education programs, textbooks, teaching methods, teacher-student social relations, and school atmosphere. Second, they focus on one key concept of democracy – participation – but ignore the equally important concepts of equality and choice. Third, they often conflate micro-level democratic schooling with societal democratization, thereby implying that the presence or absence of a particular practice means that a country is more or less democratic. Broadening the discourse on the relationship between education and democracy to include macro-level processes and institutions such as modernization, mass schooling, equality, and choice shows that education for democracy is much more than is currently conceptualized.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: James Nicholas Publishers
Copyright: 2003 James Nicholas Publishers
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