Beyond Liberal Democracy in Schools: The Power of Pluralism

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Teachers College Press, Jan 1, 2008 - Education - 200 pages
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In this unique union of philosophy and ethnographic research, Barbara Thayer-Bacon explains how the individualist legacy of liberal democracy, as conceived by Locke and Rosseau, ignores and excludes the needs of American students raised in cultures with strong communal traditions. Drawing upon her experience with the educational methods of other cultures as well as the work of modern educational philosophers such as Dewey, Barber, Young, and Mouffe and Laclau, Thayer-Bacon shows us how our current vision of the democratic process as revealed in school practices routinely fails minority students. She offers recommendations to help us develop learning environments for students that are culturally aware, anti-racist, and relationally focused. This radical reimagining of American schools will be beneficial to researchers and practitioners alike.

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Current Democratic Theories
Shared Responsibilities
Shared Authority

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About the author (2008)

Barbara Thayer-Bacon is Professor, Philosophy of Education, University of Tennessee.

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