An analysis of democratic education

Yoxon, Sophie (2012) An analysis of democratic education. BSc dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    This dissertation investigates democratic education, a type of education in which learning is non-compulsory. The investigation is undertaken using theoretical analysis of a variety of sources of literature, which were selected using theoretical sampling. Firstly, the historical context of democratic education is considered, with the history of the movement being outlined, starting with its origins with Rousseau, through to the widespread “free school movement”, and then subsequent decline. Recent contemporary developments, including Gove’s free school initiative, are found to suggest a new acceptance of alternative education.
    In addition, the theory of democratic education is analysed, and there are found to be clear variations in theorists’ definitions of freedom, whether freedom from or freedom to, as well as authority and the role of teachers. Finally, three heterogeneous democratic schools are considered in more detail as case studies, and the main differences between them are explored. Notably, there appears two distinct types of free school; a middle-class “Summerhillian” school, and an inner-city free school, which targets poor and ethnic minority students. Kozol’s suggestion that the socio-economic status of the free school population, and their subsequent self-awareness of this status, is proposed as a reason for the existence of two types of democratic school.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social, Historical and Literary Studies
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 18 Oct 2012 15:23
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 12:09

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