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Education for democracy: Some basic definitions, concepts, and clarifications

Perry, L.B. (2005) Education for democracy: Some basic definitions, concepts, and clarifications. In: Zajda, J., (ed.) International Handbook on Globalisation, Education and Policy Research. Springer, Dordrecht, Netherlands, pp. 685-692.

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Since the end of the Cold War, education theorists and comparativists have expressed renewed interest in the relationship between education and democratisation. Indeed, it has become one of the "hot" topics in the field. This renewed interest came on the heels of a relative decline in the 1970s and 1980s of research on political socialisation and other relevant areas. recently comparativists have asked, "Is it possible to have a genuinely unbiased notion of 'democracy' and of 'education for democracy'?" "What are the criteria for a democratic society and how can they be achieved through education?" In order to answer these and other questions, we need to clarify definitions and measures of democracy, and what we mean by democratic outcomes, processes, and institutions. What exactly do we mean when we talk about democratic schooling or education for democratisation? What assumptions do we make when we talk about the relationship between democracy and education? Does the current discourse about the relationship favour some key concepts of democracy but ignore others? Similarly, does the current discourse favour some educational practices and structures at the expense of others?

Item Type: Book Chapter
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Education
Publisher: Springer
Copyright: 2005 Springer
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