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Enacting democratic relations in everyday teaching: Comparing teachers’ practices from preschool to high school

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In democratic societies fostering democratic citizens is an important goal of education and includes the experience of democratic relations. But how do teachers interpret and carry this out? Are there differences between the levels of schooling, and if so, what? In an explorative study, interviews with teachers from preschool to high school were conducted and analysed to elicit practical arguments. The informants described their mission as intertwined in everyday activities and teaching democracy ‘as a way of life’ in the spirit of Dewey. For example, the task of fostering quality in relations, such as empathy, was only discussed by preschool teachers, whereas the task of balancing equal relationships was addressed by all the informants at all levels. It also became clear that the progression of democratic learning runs parallel with addressing ever-present relational issues of a democratic nature.
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Keywords: democratic citizens; democratic learning; democratic relationships; professional responsibility; teacher professionalism; teaching

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Gävle

Publication date: September 1, 2017

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  • Citizenship Teaching and Learning is global in scope, exploring issues of social and moral responsibility, community involvement and political literacy. It advances academic and professional understandings within a broad characterisation of education, focussing on a wide range of issues including identity, diversity, equality and social justice within social, moral, political and cultural contexts.
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