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A model for conceptualising democratic education

Perry, L. (2006) A model for conceptualising democratic education. In: Western Australian Institute for Educational Research Forum 2006, 5 August 2006, Edith Cowan University, Mount Lawley


The relationship between democracy and education is complex and situational. While education scholars and policy makers in democratic countries agree that schooling should be democratic, what this exactly means varies by national context. Moreover, educational practices or models are sometimes assumed to be democratic (or not), without a clear explanation why. This paper problematises the notion of democratic education, showing that the concept is not amenable to simplistic pronouncements. It also establishes a conceptual model for analysing democratic education. The model includes the key concepts of equity, diversity, participation, choice, and cohesion. The model allows one to assess educational democratisation, compare differing national conceptualisations, and appreciate the wide diversity of democratic schooling. As an analytical tool, it also improves understanding of the ways in which educational systems continually adjust to changing theory and economic, political, and social forces.

Item Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Education
Conference Website:
Notes: Appears In: Proceedings Western Australian Institute for Educational Research Forum 2006
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