'The theory and practice of democracy and democratic leadership have implications for how we understand what ought to be counted as 'improving schools' In this book Woods focuses on the idea of democratic leadership, examining what is meant by democratic leadership, what forms it can take, and how it is relevant to school education and learning. He shows how the ideals and theories of democratic leadership can translate into practice, and sets out some of the challenges that democratic leadership poses in the context of contemporary education . Democratic Leadership in Education challenges conventional approaches to leadership and many of the assumptions inherent in educational policy. It is about understanding and exploring both the idea of democratic leadership and its practical relevance through examples drawn from practice and research. An enlightening resource for practitioners and students on professional development and academic courses, this book will be essential reading for all policy makers, academics and others (such as inspectors) who critically examine leadership and management of educational institutions.
Chapter 5: An Open Approach to Knowledge
An Open Approach to Knowledge
The intimate connection between democracy and creative human potential is the foundation of the developmental conception of democracy. The presupposition of this conception is that people are capable, individually and collectively, of creative social action. So, with regard to literacy for example, Freire argues:
If learning to read and write is to constitute an act of knowing, the learners must assume from the beginning the role of creative subjects. (1985: 49)
As suggested in the previous chapter, to overcome alienation a dialectical movement is needed between subjectivism (changing consciousness) and objectivism (changing the social and material context in which we live). Critical capabilities are essential to this. Democratic society needs to ‘seek through education to provide pupils with ...