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Developing active citizenship in schools : a case study of democracy in practice

Hope, Max


Dr Max Hope
Lecturer in Education and Social Inclusion


This chapter offers a critique of current definitions of active citizenship and argues that children and young people need to be seen as citizens within their school communities and not just citizens of the future. Pedagogy and school decision-making should reflect the aims of active citizenship and thus engage children and young people as active participants within their school communities. This requires a radical change to the way in which many schools are currently structured and organised. A case study of a small democratic school is used as an illustration of an exemplary model of education for active citizenship. This school does not offer citizenship as a curriculum subject nor explicitly aim for active citizenship – and yet active citizenship is integral to its ethos, values, structures, processes and pedagogy. Throughout the chapter, it is suggested that democratic schooling is not just one way – but the best way – of providing education for active citizenship.

Publication Date Jul 29, 2015
Pages 325 - 336
Book Title International handbook of progressive education
ISBN 978-1-43312-875-2
APA6 Citation Hope, M. (2015). Developing active citizenship in schools : a case study of democracy in practice. International handbook of progressive education, 325 - 336. Peter Lang Publishing
Keywords Democratic education * active citizenship * experiential learning * critical thinking * citizenship schools