The relationships between democracy, diversity, and the purposes of education are complex and are often based on different assumptions. One assumption is that schools have a role in promoting democratic practice and equal treatment of diverse students and that teachers must be prepared to accomplish this purpose. It is important to note that this is not a universal view. Many policymakers operate under a different assumption and believe that the purpose of education is almost exclusively to prepare students for their economic role in society.

This entry considers several ideas—relevant to the purposes of education—that for many are contested concepts. There is not clear agreement on what these concepts mean and how they are connected. The overarching question is whether education should address issues of either ...

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