Global Doing Democracy Research Project
What are the attitudes of teachers in primary schools
towards democracy in education
My dissertation is based on a study on attitudes of teachers in primary schools towards democracy in education. The research was inspired by the new National Curriculum Guide for Compulsory Schools and its emphasis on six new fundamental pillars of education. One of those pillars is Democracy and Human Rights. The sample was composed of teachers in two different municipalities who answered a questionnaire on if, and how, their attitudes to democracy in education appeared in their work with students. The Compulsory School Act has stipulated for quite a while that schools shall prepare students to live and work in a democratic society; but it is only with the introduction of the new National Curriculum Guide that plans have been made on how to implement this. The theoretical background of the project are the writings of John Dewey; his ideas concerning the democratic human being and the importance of education in the development of democracy fit well with the new National Curriculum Guide for Compulsory Schools. The new National Curriculum Guide reflects paradigms of deliberative democracy, presupposing an active role of citizens in dialogue and policy making in the community. The results reflect that teachers avoidance of discussing controversial and sensitive subjects, will make students less likely to show democratic activity, initiative, tolerance and reciprocity. Thus the attitudes of the teachers directly influence the potential of schools for democratic education. Furthermore, the results show positive attitudes of the participants towards the new National Curriculum Guide and they consider themselves ready to implement the fundamental pillars as a part of their practice. The results have practical value for education in Social Sciences, Life Skills and for the general implementation of the fundamental pillar of Democracy and Human Rights in education.
I will share the questionnaire soon. I am writing an article based on the findings and hopefully it will be translated in english.