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ERIC Number: EJ837310
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Nov
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-1740-2743
Experiencing Democracy through Neoliberalism: The Role of Social Justice in Democratic Education
Carr, Paul
Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies, v5 n2 Nov 2007
This paper reports on research involving American College of Education students in relation to their impressions of, reactions to, and engagement with democracy. Four themes are explored: the conceptualization of democracy; the democratic educational experience of teachers; the concern about teaching controversial issues; and the understanding of, and linkage to, social justice. Of particular concern is the clear lack of appreciation among participants of democracy as a philosophy, ethos, political system and cultural phenomenon, as they often associate democracy exclusively with the electoral process. In general, participants did not focus on critical thinking, politics as a way of life, power-sharing, the decision-making process, the role of the media, alternative systems, and social responsibility as part of what could be considered "thick" democracy. The nebulous linkage between democracy and social justice, with the overriding fear of bias, values-dissemination and indoctrination, raises the concern of how education systems and teachers conceptualize the citizenship-based, lived experience of democratic education, as opposed to standardized testing and the ever-ending quest for high academic achievement that has become the hallmark of neoliberalism. The paper also underscores the meaning of political literacy within the context of democracy in education. (Contains 1 table and 5 notes.)
The Institute for Education Policy Studies. University of Northampton, School of Education, Boughton Green Road, Northampton NN2 7AL United Kingdom. Tel: +44-1273-270943; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A