Focus on Practice (English)

How should we educate people in a democratic society?

Author: Nadene Mackay

  • How should we educate people in a democratic society?

    Focus on Practice (English)

    How should we educate people in a democratic society?

    Author:

Abstract

Drawing on Dewey’s education theory and his understanding of democracy, this essay attempts to answer the question of how we should educate people in a democratic society. Foregrounding the life and rights of the child as the core and ‘all controlling aim’ of education within a democratic society (Dewey 2010, p.16), this essay argues that the child’s experience of democratic life inside and outside of the school classroom must connect. Moreover, in educating people in a democratic society, a progressive approach by all education stakeholders is encouraged which enables democratic ideals such as respect, equality, agency and justice to manifest throughout the fabric of school life, permeating leadership and the organisation of schooling, curriculum planning, pedagogical practices and assessment arrangements. Conversely, this essay rejects the dominance of essentialist and perennialist influences that promote teacher-dominated pedagogical practices and undynamic curricula as barriers to positive change which fail to recognise the individual nature, value and life experience of the child, and therefore stifle authentic development.

Keywords: Democracy, Dewey, Children's Rights

How to Cite:

Mackay, N. (2023) “How should we educate people in a democratic society?”, Focus on Practice (Wales Journal of Education), doi: https://doi.org/10.16922/wje.p1

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Published on
04 Apr 2023
Peer Reviewed