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Durham e-Theses
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Political education and democratic values: a study of the current debate on political education and possible developments

Taylor-Gooby, David (1980) Political education and democratic values: a study of the current debate on political education and possible developments. Masters thesis, Durham University.



The first chapter examines the nature of politics and the role of the citizen in a democratic society. It reaches conclusions which are used to evaluate political education. These are that politics is essentially about conflict, and that a political education programme should have a positive commitment to participation and the essentially worthwhile nature of politics. The second chapter examines the current debate about political education noting two different emphases; that political education should aim to produce an informed and critical electorate, and that politics is best learnt through active participation. The third chapter looks at the literature on political socialisation to evaluate the effectiveness of political education in schools. Chapter Four looks at textbooks and finds a tendency to play down conflict and not to deal with the practicalities of political involvement. Chapter Five summarises discussions with teachers, and identifies a strong and a weak view of political education. This reflects the literature: the first has a commitment to participation, the second is concerned primarily with promoting understanding and a critical awareness. The final chapter summarises the arguments, and explores what a commitment to participation will mean in practice. It concludes that for most people participation will be in terms of ensuring the accountability of their representatives. Such active participation is necessary if citizens are to contribute to policy rather than simply keep a check on their rulers.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:1980
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:16 Jul 2013 10:54

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