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Democratic Schools: Towards a Definition
Democratic schools: Towards a definition
BernardTrafford

This analysis of school democracy, extensively rooted in UK-based research but drawing also on experience from Europe and across the globe, is obliged to begin by attempting a definition. Can a school be democratic? Some would assert that it cannot. In general, schools operate within a fairly rigid command structure. However heads/principals may choose to run their institutions, above them will be a hierarchy of governance and government which almost inevitably imposes a traditional line of authority and accountability. Indeed, heads have such considerable positional power because they are appointed by that hierarchy, however much consultation may have been involved in the process. Similar pressures operate on others: teachers in many countries feel beleaguered by the ...

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