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Democracy and early childhood: diverse representations of democratic education in post-dictatorship Portugal

Sousa, D; Oxley, L; (2019) Democracy and early childhood: diverse representations of democratic education in post-dictatorship Portugal. Educational Review 10.1080/00131911.2018.1556609. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Education systems are often expected to play a key role in developing, maintaining and promoting democratic values and behaviours. This is particularly apparent in Portugal where, after nearly half a century of dictatorship ending in 1974, democracy emerged as a central national aspiration, especially within Early Childhood Education (ECE). However, the ambiguity of the term “democracy” has allowed policymakers, academics and educators alike to promote diverse understandings of its meaning. This article delves into the ambiguities of democracy, revealing its flexible and context-dependent nature through the diverse representations of democracy encountered in three early years settings in Portugal: a public (state) kindergarten, a not-for-profit kindergarten and a private kindergarten. Using interviews, documentary analysis and observations we illustrate the diverse ways in which democracy is represented in each setting. We classify these representations of democracy as structural, individual and collective. We argue that these reflect the different ideologies of the three types of setting that draw upon particular theoretical understandings and sociopolitical developments in Portugal’s educational history.

Type: Article
Title: Democracy and early childhood: diverse representations of democratic education in post-dictatorship Portugal
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/00131911.2018.1556609
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1080/00131911.2018.1556609
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Democracy, representations, early childhood education, kindergarten, Portugal
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Learning and Leadership
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10062836
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