Pedagogerna och demokratin. En rättssociologisk studie av pedagogers arbete med demokratiutveckling
The Swedish education system is governed by national steering documents, like the Education Act, curriculi and syllabuses. The democratic assignment is a central issue in these documents. The thesis aims to investigate how teachers handle this democratic assignment and how they are influenced by forces on different social levels. The concept of democracy is open to many interpretations. Democracy in education has a wide meaning, according to John Dewey, including forms of life in society and not only decision making and political matters. The concept of recognition has been elaborated by writers like Nancy Fraser, Axel Honneth and Paul Ricoeur in a way that is suitable for an analysis of democratic processes in education. Basil Bernstein´s model for rights in pedagogy also fits well into the background of the concept of democracy. The relation between human action and law is a central area for studies in Sociology of Law. In Sociology of Law at Lund University these studies have been centered around the concept of norms. In this study the norm concept is placed in the environment of professional teaching. The relative freedom of acting in a professional area focuses intentional norms, classified as teleological norms. An empirical study of teachers working with democracy projects was carried out using both indivdual and groups interviews. The interviews showed that teachers took responsibility for democratic goals and that they needed support to be able to succeed The results showed that the teachers´ acting was influenced by several factors and that different situations showed specific features. Democratic teaching was thus set in multi-variate conditions of a complex system. It was however possible to detect a general dynamic teaching process with three dimensions of professional teaching. Teachers´ actions aimed to: Improve the capacity to see the child/student Become more critically aware of their own role Increase the awareness of democratic issues My conlusion is that this forms three active meta-norms in education for democracy. The meta-norms serve as a support for teachers in the complex and multi layered assignment of teaching democracy. As the meta-norms can clearly be linked to the theories of recognition they gain support by an ethical discussion in social philosophy. A practical consequence of this is that the concept of recognition presents both meaning and potentially powerful possibilities in developing methods for teaching democracy. Further studies in teachers acting can contrubute to the philosophical discussion on recognition, the knowledge on building of a future democracy and a deeper understanding of the relation between legislation and education.
Source Type:Doctoral Dissertation
Keywords:SOCIAL SCIENCES; professionality; curriculum; democratic education; recognition; meta-norms; pedagogy; teachers; democracy; education; Sociology of Law; democratic development; democratic values
Date of Publication:01/01/2010