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Leading the Democratic School

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  1. Leading the Democratic School Democracy, power and authority in school systems Really Useful Knowledge Consultants(RUKCs): rukconsultants@gmail.com

  2. A democratic society would have democratic schools • Democratic societies require democratic leadership- they cannot be ‘led’ by depots, dictators, monarchies, oligarchies, etc • Democratic schools require democratic leadership- they cannot be ‘led’ by depots, dictators, monarchies, oligarchies, etc • Democracy is a major political and ideological export, from North to South, and is seen as the preferred form of polity in the 20th-21st century so far, and the ‘democratic’ school has also been mooted Really Useful Knowledge Consultants(RUKCs): rukconsultants@gmail.com

  3. Alternative Democracies • The standard form of democracy, representative democracy, has been under constant pressure since its origins 300 years ago in the North • Direct democracy has been promoted as the major alternative: until recently when • Deliberative or discursive democracy has been at the forefront of the theoretical discussion of democratic political systems • And we have another layer of conceptual apparatus: thin and deep democracies Really Useful Knowledge Consultants(RUKCs): rukconsultants@gmail.com

  4. AlternativeDemocraticSchools They may make the claim to be ‘democratic’, and there have been major school reform programmes and projects aiming to specify and implement the ‘democratic’ school, often inspired by adverse reaction to a claimed ‘autocratic’ nature of the school in public school systems So now we can have: Representative democratic, direct or participatory, or deliberative democratic schools, each either thin or thick (?), with congruent leadership Really Useful Knowledge Consultants(RUKCs): rukconsultants@gmail.com

  5. Alternative democratic leadership for the democratic school So now the question arises: • What forms of leadership are congruent with alternative models of the democratic school? This question is answered through formal logic • Then we ask an empirical question: what is the litmus test for a democratic school, or how do these different forms of democratic schooling present in practice? • This question is answered through evidence (which we do not have!) Really Useful Knowledge Consultants(RUKCs): rukconsultants@gmail.com

  6. Power, Leadership, and the Democratic School Democratic schools can be identified by the form of power relations they enshrine and display and popularise Forms of power: • Persuasion • Manipulation • Coercion Really Useful Knowledge Consultants(RUKCs): rukconsultants@gmail.com

  7. Evidence of the Democratic School: one powerful indicator • Any school claiming to be democratic in some way must utilise ‘persuasion’. The presence or absence of ‘persuasion’ is a possible litmus test for the democratic school and its exact form will vary according to the type of democratic school, or the mix of democratic structures( a hybrid-democratic school is possible). • The negative case: the presence of either manipulation or coercion in school power processes abdicates the claim to being ‘democratic’. • So can schools be led in the absence of manipulation and coercion ( as they must be?!)? Really Useful Knowledge Consultants(RUKCs): rukconsultants@gmail.com

  8. Democracy and power: conceptual clarification and definition Democracy: its roots are in the celebration of • Freedom of expression • Freedom of association • Freedom of speech • The constant possibility of countervailing power • The separation of powers: polity, judiciary, executive Power: the dimensions of power are vital for any leader. They want the most they can get of: • Comprehensiveness -whole person affected (no escape) • Intensity (deep, sustainable impacts on people) • Surveillance (cannot be avoided- all people affected) Really Useful Knowledge Consultants(RUKCs): rukconsultants@gmail.com

  9. Learning to lead in the democratic school: the case of the school pupil We need to ensure that young people learn to be leaders in their own lives in the Democratic School. The logical possibilities are: • Learning about democracy ( critical sympathy/skepticism?) • Learning through democracy (the school as mentor) • Learning for democracy (only in favour of this polity) To be prepared to lead in everyday life Really Useful Knowledge Consultants(RUKCs): rukconsultants@gmail.com

  10. A Political Education for Political Leadership ‘An understanding of politics must begin with an understanding of the conflicts that there are and of the reasons and interests of the contestants: it cannot be content with preconceptions of the constitutional order or of a necessary consensus. A politically literate person will not hope to resolve all such differences, or all differences at once; but he or she perceives their existence as politics’. And a good democratic leader will be a politically literate leader and a good person. Really Useful Knowledge Consultants(RUKCs): rukconsultants@gmail.com

  11. Why are leaders so often despised yet tolerated? ‘Confucius told his disciple Tsze-kung that three things are needed for government: weapons, food and trust. If a ruler cannot hold on to all three, he should give up the weapons first and the next, food. Trust should be guarded to the end: ‘without trust we cannot stand’. Confucius’ thought still convinces’ Really Useful Knowledge Consultants(RUKCs):rukconsultants@gmail.com

  12. Leadership, democracy and values: the beginning of toleration and the end of deference • ‘If there is genuine political education, certain values are presupposed. I will call these procedural values for they are not substantive values like various justifications for authority, like equality, or types of justice, but rather presuppositions of any kind of genuine political education or free political activity.... The politically literate person cannot just accept one set of values as correct (note, gja- within the limits of toleration!) . . The very nature of politics lies in there being a plurality of values and interests, of which he/she must have some minimum understanding’. Bernard Crick Really Useful Knowledge Consultants(RUKCs): rukconsultants@gmail.com

  13. Educational Leadership for Nation Building: building the democratic society • Which African (or European?) countries would pass a democracy litmus test? • Why and how did they get there- to become a democratic state, and what, if anything , will sustain them? • Why are some African counties not democratic nor never will be ( is this true?)? If not , why not? • What is the role of the school, and school leadership in particular, in creating and sustaining democratic states and dismantling and rebuilding non-democratic states? • Should non-democratic states be tolerated? • Why are un-democratic power relations tolerated? • Why are immoral leaders deferred to? ( values pluralism gone mad, or what?) Really Useful Knowledge Consultants(RUKCs): rukconsultants@gmail.com

  14. The politics of identity A postscript on being African ‘We Africans are not like you Europeans. We are a great deal more communal. You are the great individualists. Each has advantages, but we say a person is a person through other persons; the solitary individual is a contradiction in terms. Something that happens here to an individual impacts on the whole community’ Archbishop Desmond Tutu, 1997, reported comment at a meeting of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, South Africa Really Useful Knowledge Consultants(RUKCs): rukconsultants@gmail.com

  15. Fairness as justice in trust relationships: elements in the morality of leadership A fair procedure, according to orthodox moral philosophy, should conform to six justice rules: be ‘consistent, unbiased, accurate, correctable when a mistake is made, representative of concerned parties’ interests and compatible with an individual’s moral and ethical standards’. ‘The advantage to mankind of being able to trust one another penetrates into every crevice and cranny of human life’ (J. S. Mill, 1909: 68). Really Useful Knowledge Consultants(RUKCs): rukconsultants@gmail.com