ERIC Number: ED425491
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998-Apr
Conceptions of Democracy and School Reform: Can "Community" Democratic School Reforms Thrive in America's Liberal or Participatory Democratic Culture?
Dixon, Douglas A.
This paper reviews the literature and findings of a prior study (Dixon 1997) that described and categorized contrasting elements of different conceptions of democracy: liberal democracy, participatory democracy, and community democracy. A table in the appendix also presents this comparison. These contrasting conceptions of democracy were then used to evaluate recent reform ideas of three prominent democratic school reformers: Theodore Sizer, "Horace's Hoe"; Carl Glickman, "Revolutionizing America's Schools"; and Henry Levin, "The Accelerated Schools Resource Guide." Others sources are concerned with ideas such as greater democracy in school decision making; shared governance; parental consultation; local school political structures and constituencies; and the product and process of democratic reforms. These earlier writings provide an understanding of how experts describe American democracy, and develop implications for reformers who want to establish democratic school culture. Content analysis of the works by Sizer, Glickman, and Levin is used to categorize their views on the following issues: elements of community democratic education; views on government; nature of individuals and of the masses; mode of participation, nature of problems and knowledge, and information access and dissemination; expanse of government; value priorities; and implications for consumers of community democratic education reforms. (Contains 143 references.) (RIB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Diego, CA, April 13-17, 1998).