1st Edition

Education, Policy and Democracy Contemporary Challenges and Possibilities

Edited By Stewart Riddle, David Bright, Amanda Heffernan Copyright 2024

    This book brings together diverse, international scholarly perspectives on education and democracy in response to contemporary challenges for educational leadership, policy and practice.

    The contributions meaningfully engage with a range of local and global issues regarding democratic participation and agency, with a particular focus on implications for educational access, engagement and justice. Each chapter considers the complex tensions and interplay between education histories, policies, practices and research to better understand how education can be for democracy in the twenty-first century. There is much work to be done in the field of democratic education, whether it be in the search of a better understanding of education and democracy’s relationship to one another, questions of how education might be for democracy, the importance of teaching young people about democracy, and whether education can be more democratic. This book makes a small, but important, contribution to these struggles for more democratic and socially just futures through education.

    Education, Policy and Democracy: Contemporary Challenges and Possibilities will be a key resource for academics, researchers, and advanced students of education leadership and policy, educational administration, politics, research methods, and sociology. This book was originally published as a special issue of the Journal of Educational Administration and History.

    Introduction—Education, policy and democracy: contemporary challenges and possibilities Stewart Riddle, David Bright and Amanda Heffernan

    1. Reflections on contemporary challenges and possibilities for democracy and education

    Michael W. Apple, Gert Biesta, David Bright, Henry A. Giroux, Amanda Heffernan, Peter McLaren, Stewart Riddle and Anna Yeatman

    2. Punk rock’s messages for the neoliberal university

    Noah Romero

    3. Evaluation for equity: reclaiming evaluation by striving towards counter-hegemonic democratic practices

    Rhyall Barry Gordon, Matt Lumb, Matthew Bunn and Penny Jane Burke

    4. Relational pedagogy and the policy failure of contemporary Australian schooling: activist teaching and pedagogically driven reform

    Andrew Hickey, Stewart Riddle, Janean Robinson, Barry Down, Robert Hattam and Alison Wrench

    5. A Freirean analysis of the Escola sem Partido dystopian schooling model: indignation, hope and untested feasibility during pandemic times

    Jorge Knijnik

    6. The contemporary challenge of activism as curriculum work

    Marie Brennan, Eve Mayes and Lew Zipin

    7. Understanding and celebrating advantaged boys: education that excludes

    Stef Rozitis

    8. Towards an understanding of curricular justice and democratic schooling

    Martin Mills, Stewart Riddle, Glenda McGregor and Angelique Howell

    9. Reflections on how education can be for democracy in the twenty-first century

    Anne Aly, Jill Blackmore, David Bright, Debra Hayes, Amanda Heffernan, Bob Lingard, Stewart Riddle, Keita Takayama and Deborah Youdell


    Stewart Riddle is Associate Professor in the School of Education, University of Southern Queensland, Australia. His research examines the democratisation of schooling systems, increasing access and equity in education and how schooling can respond to critical social issues in complex contemporary times.

    David Bright is Senior lecturer in the Faculty of Education at Monash University in Australia. His research interests include teacher identity, international schooling, and post-qualitative inquiry.

    Amanda Heffernan is Senior Lecturer at the Manchester Institute of Education, University of Manchester, UK. Her research brings critical perspectives to educational leadership and policy, and her current projects focus on the attraction, support, and retention of school leaders. She is Co-Editor of the Journal of Educational Administration and History.