ERIC Number: ED357074
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Apr
Studying the Democratic School: A Theoretically Framed, Qualitative Approach.
In the tradition of critical ethnography, this study demonstrates the development and use of a structured approach to the qualitative study of an urban alternative public high school. It responds to the need for research that begins to connect the language of possibility in critical educational theory with an emerging language of possibility in democratic educational practice. It identifies two major competing democratic ideological traditions that have struggled to shape the understandings and practices of U.S. democratic citizenship: a dominant, privately-oriented citizenship tradition, and an alternative tradition of public democratic citizenship. Based on the second tradition, a set of values, attributes, and capacities is outlined that a public school should possess, as well as some ideal school practices for promoting these qualities in students. These ideal practices and citizenship qualities are used as a framework to guide a sample analysis of one particularly rich component (a video documentary class) of the curriculum of a democratic urban alternative high school. The findings should spark discussion, debate, and research into the kinds of curriculum and organizational features that progressive educators should and should not use to promote public democratic citizenship. (SLD)
Descriptors: Citizenship, Citizenship Education, Course Evaluation, Curriculum Development, Democratic Values, Documentaries, Educational Philosophy, Educational Theories, Ethnography, High Schools, Nontraditional Education, Public Schools, Qualitative Research, Research Methodology, Urban Schools, Videotape Recordings
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Atlanta, GA, April 12-16, 1993).