Education and Democratic Participation
The Making of Learning Communities
Education and Democratic Participation is an important and timely contribution to the emerging debate surrounding the value of educating citizens and communities in order to empower them to participate in democratic change. Responding to the effects of neo-liberal ideology on comprehensive education and public services, this book examines the purposes and conditions for reimagining an educated democracy.
Arguing that social divisions and cultural misrecognition have intensified to the point of crisis, Ranson explains that a just society must create opportunities for diverse, cohesive and tolerant neighbourhoods to flourish. In order to achieve this, education will need to reimagine learners as prospective citizens and as cooperative makers of the democratic communities in which they live and work. Showing that participation in public forums, councils and associations can provide a real means of enabling members of different communities to learn how to respect and value one another, this book provides persuasive arguments that a broader pedagogy of democracy is needed to confront the common dilemmas facing society.
This work is aimed at researchers, academics and postgraduates, particularly those lecturing and studying in the areas of education, the social sciences and politics. It will also appeal to professional and practitioner communities in school and college teaching, as well as in local authorities and related public services.
Table of Contents
1. Conjunctures: Dismantling Social Democratic Education 2. Beginning Anew for the Common Good 3. Remaking Democracy for Citizens 4. Participation as a Way of Life 5. A Pedagogy of Cooperative Learning 6. Volunteer Citizens, Voice and Participation 7. Towards Democratic Community Governance 8. Democratizing Comprehensiveness: A Concluding Coda
Stewart Ranson (BSc. Econ, M.A., D. Soc. Sc.) is Professor Emeritus at the University of Warwick (2009). He was Professor of Education at Warwick (2005–2009) and an Associate Fellow of the Institute of Governance and Public Management in the Business School (2009–2012). Previously at the University of Birmingham, he was a researcher and lecturer at the Institute of Local Government Studies for fifteen years before being appointed as Professor of Education in the School of Education (1989–2004).
‘An important and timely book by one of the pioneers of education in and for democracy, Education and Democratic Participation provides a much-needed response to the double betrayals of populism and the market. Intellectually profound, rooted in the realities and challenges of parental and community engagement it offers hope for a more truly democratic future and resources for its realisation.’ – Michael Fielding, Emeritus Professor of Education, UCL Institute of Education, UK
‘This timely and important book is essential reading for all those concerned about challenges to modern democratic values. It brings together research and scholarship of a very high order to analyse the key contributions education can make to democratic citizenship.’ – Pamela Munn, Emeritus Professor of Curriculum Research, University of Edinburgh, UK
'In this path-breaking book - the distillation of a lifetime's research and scholarship - Stewart Ranson provides a powerful analysis of the historic struggle for democratic education while pointing a way forward to new and emergent forms of community-based educational practice and institutional governance. Ranson's wide-ranging and scholarly text will provide a major reference point for decades to come.' – Jon Nixon, Honorary Professor, The Education University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
‘This carefully theorised book offers compelling insight into why the democratisation of education in its broad sense matters in building inclusive and participatory democracies – especially ones that can heal the ravages of capitalism and lay foundations for a new society. Drawing wisdom from the rich histories of radical and progressive education, the British comprehensive education movement, critical philosophy, and examples of real-life radical-democratic learning in schools and communities, the book offers powerful resources of hope for anyone learning and struggling towards a decent future.’ - Sarah Amsler, Associate Professor in Education, University of Nottingham, UK