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How democracy and associative democracy affect education

Please explain how democracy, particularly the idea of associative democracy, is linked to education.

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My answer focuses on how associative democracy links to education in general and democratic education specifically.

Paul Hirst (1995) and others in the field of associative democracy suggest more effective and equitable implementation of public services, including education, through developing strong democracy. Bader says of associative democracy,

"(I)t criticizes simplistic, unitary, homogenous and static notions of state, sovereignty, nationality, citizenship, culture, political identity and commitment, replacing them with more flexible, dynamic concepts including many layers and levels...(I)ts critical concepts in combination with its knowledge of broad institutional variety form a better basis for a complex and informed practical evaluation of existing institutions as well as for the design of alternatives" (Hirst & Bader, 2001 p.6).

The congruence between the theories and practice of democratic education/schooling and the theory of associative democracy is plain to see, particularly if we divide what those like Hirst and Bader have written about associative democracy into three domains, societal, institutional and personal, then examine the functioning of democratic schooling in these three domains in order to provide grounded examples of associative democracy in action.

At the level of society, proponents of associative democracy posit a scheme whereby public services would be administered by associations that would, at once, "combine the individual choice of liberalism and the public provision of collectivism" (Hirst, 1995 p. 20). Bader adds that "Services (would) be public and publicly funded, open to all, but non-state" (p.1). Associations would be accountable to the needs and desires of their constituents who would have the ability to influence associations to varying degrees through voting and exit options. Those associations receiving public monies would be accountable to certain criteria attached to the receipt of those funds. This fluid arrangement between ...

Solution Summary

The solution discusses both traditional democracy principles and associative democracy principles and their effects on education. The text contains 1158 words and references are noted.