A phenomenological research of democracy education in a Finnish primary-school
Männistö, P. M., & Moate, J. (2023). A phenomenological research of democracy education in a Finnish primary-school. Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, Early online. https://doi.org/10.1080/00313831.2023.2196525
Published inScandinavian Journal of Educational Research
© 2023 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
This phenomenological research examines democracy education and the conditions contributing to young students’ democratic agency. The dataset includes interview and observation data from a school and educational decision-makers. The findings from the iterative analysis highlight the contradictions between democracy education as an ideal and opportunities for democratic agency. One significant contradiction was the expectation that young pupils should be competent democratic agents before being offered opportunities to act democratically. Young students deemed to possess the greatest competencies were offered opportunities to learn about democracy in action, whereas most students were expected to focus on their individual labour. Within these conditions, teachers remained in charge of sharing important information, deciding the contents of education and the organisation of the public, socio-political life in school. This study highlights the need to go beyond espoused ideals of democracy education and to re-consider the conditions for developing democratic agency in Finnish primary-school education. ...
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