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ERIC Number: EJ1134231
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-2159-1474
In Pursuit of Democratic Practice: Self-Study as a Democratic Approach to Teaching Social Studies
Hostetler, Andrew
Journal of Inquiry and Action in Education, v5 n1 p63-82 2012
Dewey (1916/2009) viewed democracy as a "path or journey." This suggests that there is no mutually agreed upon end. Similarly, in teaching and teacher education, if viewed as a learning problem, the end is the process according to Ritter (2010) "[t]eaching others how to teach for democratic citizenship represents a process that righteously lacks a conclusion" (p. 90). Without a definitive conclusion there are many potentially valuable conceptions and enactments of democratic living and learning. Discussing these strong connections between democracy in social studies and self-study, Powell (2010) argues "when social studies teachers engage in "reflectively pragmatic" study of their own practice, they... position themselves to see the possibilities inherent in the social and political nature of their work" (p. 26). This is indicative of a desire to pursue a teaching practice that does not contradict one's effort to explicitly teach democratic citizenship. Given the unique contexts and many potentially valuable conceptions of democratic citizenship, inquiry into one's practice toward a democratic approach and improving ones teaching practice is necessary. What follows is an argument for the promise of self-study to empower teachers toward democratic ends through researching their own practice. This is accomplished here through a review of relevant literature and a description of the framework, methods, and a major finding of a collaborative self-study research project conducted during the spring of 2009.
Buffalo State College School of Education. 1300 Elmwood Avenue Bacon Hall 306, Buffalo, NY 14214. Tel: 716-878-4214; Fax: 716-878-5301; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Information Analyses; Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Ohio
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A