Studies in Philosophy and Education

, Volume 20, Issue 4, pp 317–329

Democracy in Education

  • Lotte Rahbek Schou


The point of departure in this article is the Danish debate about democracyin schools. This article presents a first step in a study of how the relationshipbetween democracy and education can be understood. A juxtaposition of thetwo concepts requires, first of all, an analysis of how the concept of democracyis used in the educational debate. In this article three models of democracy areapplied as an analytical framework: a liberal model (Hobbes, Locke, Kant, Rawls,Dworkin), a communitarian model (MacIntyre, Sandel, Nussbaum) and a communicative/deliberativemodel (Walzer, Benhabib, Taylor, Habermas). Numerous contradictions and tensionsbetween concepts of democracy and education can be found in such a juxtaposition,depending on which conception of democracy one chooses to apply. In this articleI discuss which conception affords us the most meaningful concept of democraticteaching. As an introduction, a brief historical overview of the interplay betweendemocracy and education in Danish school is provided.

communitarian deliberative democracy democratic teaching 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lotte Rahbek Schou
    • 1
  1. 1.The Danish University of EducationDenmark

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