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ERIC Number: EJ774818
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Mar
Pages: 17
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 31
ISSN: ISSN-0033-1538
Promoting Participation in Public Life through Secondary Education: Evidence from Honduras
Murphy-Graham, Erin
Prospects: Quarterly Review of Comparative Education, v37 n1 p95-111 Mar 2007
This article is not about local governance of education "per se," but rather whether education can be used as a tool to foster citizen participation, particularly that of women. It examines how education might empower women, who are often excluded from local, regional and national governance, to participate in public life. It draws on data from a qualitative study conducted in Honduras on how the innovative Latin American secondary education programme, "Sistema de Aprendizaje Tutorial" (SAT), promotes women's empowerment. In this article, the author first describes the SAT programme and the methodology used in this study. She then argues that SAT teaches students how to think critically and imagine a future that is better than the present. SAT also seems to foster in students a variety of personal virtues or values, such as respect for self and others. SAT students are able to practice democratic deliberation in the classroom, and some respondents reported that because of this they gained the self-confidence needed to participate in public spaces outside the classroom. In addition to these positive findings, there are tensions and challenges. The first is that there is little data on the overall academic quality of the SAT programme in both Colombia and Honduras. Literacy and numeracy skills, as well as critical and independent thinking are prerequisites of meaningful civic participation, and yet people know very little about the programme's performance in these areas. Furthermore, not all women seem to have benefited equally from the programme, particularly those who participated for 2 years or less. Finally, women's participation in community groups was often small-scale and not connected to other social institutions. She concludes by highlighting the implications of these findings for academics, policy-makers, and practitioners interested in how to foster citizen participation through education. (Contains 1 table and 4 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: Practitioners; Policymakers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Colombia; Honduras