Democracy, Diversity, and Schooling

Democracy, specifically liberal democracy, is a form of government and mode of living with others—making decisions about public problems, distributing resources, resolving conflict, and planning for the future. Key characteristics are popular sovereignty, majority will, civil rights and liberties, the rule of law (constitutionalism), and free and fair elections. Diversity refers to the fact that people in society differ by ideology, social class, race, language, culture, gender, religion, sexual orientation, citizenship status, and other consequential social categories—consequential because privilege or discrimination results from one's position in these categories. In societies aiming to be liberal democracies, schooling brings democracy and diversity together because schools have diverse student bodies (more or less), problems, and are charged with educating citizens for democratic life. Together, these resources—diversity, problems, and ...

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