"Education and learning for democracy take place in a wide variety of contexts worldwide. Traditionally, children are prepared to become responsible citizens in families and schools. In non-formal settings and in their lived experience, adults engage in democratic practices. Some people are active members of political parties or trade unions; others take responsibilities in associations of civil society. Still others engage in participatory practices in labor organizations. New practices and understandings of learning for democracy are often attempts to deal with transformations taking place in the contexts in which people operate. They experience the limits of representative democracy and try to enrich it with practices of direct democracy, thereby creating new learning opportunities for the participants involved. Theoretical aspects of learning in democratic practices are explored in Part I of this book. Part II describes examples of learning in political and social action, while Part III describes examples of democratic practices on the shop floor. Together the book delivers an introduction to the field of education for democracy for both social scientists and practitioners interested in ways to support the learning of democracy. Because of it comprehensive character, the book can be used also as a textbook in graduate and post-graduate courses."
Education has always been part of the search for the ideal society and, therefore, an important part of the utopian tradition in Western culture, politics and literature. Education has often served to define the ideal society or to provide the principal means of creating it. This unique collection of essays by well known scholars from around the world examines the role of edutopias in the utopian tradition, examining its sources and sites as a means for understanding the aims and purposes of education, for realizing its societal value, and for criticizing its present economic, technological and organizational modes. These essays will stimulate new thinking in ways that impinge on both theoretical and practical questions, as well as offering the reader a series of reminders of the ethical and political dimensions of education and its place in helping to build good and just societies. The collection is aimed at an audience of teachers and graduate students, although it will also be of interest to administrators, policy-makers and the general public interested in utopian thinking and its relation to education.