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ERIC Number: EJ804805
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Sep
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 73
ISSN: ISSN-0305-7240
The Just Community Approach to Moral Education: System Change or Individual Change?
Oser, Fritz K.; Althof, Wolfgang; Higgins-D'Alessandro, Ann
Journal of Moral Education, v37 n3 p395-415 Sep 2008
This article focuses on the development of, and new theorising about, a strong democracy education intervention, the Just Community approach. Three questions frame the discussion: (1) Does democracy education change children and adolescents or do students in these programs change their schools, or is there a dynamic interaction over time? (2) How can democracy be "learned"? How can the concept of democracy be most thoroughly learned and how can democratic problem-solving skills best be acquired? (3) How can we optimise the chances that the knowledge and skills learned will motivate future active citizenship? The article begins with a brief history of the Just Community approach, a description of the original developmental model created by Lawrence Kohlberg and collaborators and some variation in more recent European Just Community programs. In a discussion of controversial and difficult issues democracy education may face, the second question takes centre stage and several structural aspects are offered that should be included in such efforts to maximise their effectiveness. In the remainder of the article, new perspectives coming from Europe are introduced. Some additional pathways to the Just Community approach and their justifications, which have not played a significant role in the theory and practice of the "traditional" model but can add to its strengths, are identified. Finally, the idea of "trusting in advance" is introduced as critical for well-functioning educational democracies. (Contains 2 figures and 2 notes.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Germany; United States