The implications for education of different conceptions of democracy
An initial attempt is made to draw connections between politics and education. A paradox exists in finding education ultimately dependent upon social and political values. The paradox i. that as a result of a drastic revision of the concept of liberal democracy much more can be said about education than was previously possible in its treatment as a self—contained concept. Liberal democracy is essentially a hybrid of two rival value constellations, market and moral democracy. In the second chapter different varieties of market democracy are considered as diverse as elitism and economic democracy. No variant of market democracy entails the intention to educate critical citizens, merely an acquiescence in socialization and training. The third chapter expounds the moral conception of democracy. Thinkers from the Levellere to Green are exiiined in the cause of elucidating this concept. The latter entails the educational aim of a critical citizen. The educational implications of market democracy are developed in chapter four. For the majority of the population material for reflecting upon the values and institutions of society, and diverse forms of life, will be absent from the formal curriculum, either because such material is the province of an elite, or because short—run individual utility i. considered the only u.erthvhile goal. In chapter five a connection is established between moral democracy and the disciplines traditionally thought to be 'intrinsically' worthwhile, on the basis of the opportunities and encouragement the latter provide for reflection upon different forms of life and the critical assessment of institutions and values in society. Additionally the drastic curriculum changes which follow from a participatory democracy are also examined. Finally the fundamental Importance of the moral conception of democracy for the justification and continuation of liberal democracy is noted. This suggests the moral aim must have priority in relation to educational aims and curricula content in a liberal democracy.