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Title:Participatory democracy and urban school governance: Toward a developmental conception
Author(s):Snauwaert, Dale Thomas
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Coombs, Fred S.
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Education, General
Political Science, General
Education, Philosophy of
Abstract:The purpose of this thesis is to articulate a model of school governance based upon the "developmental" conception of democracy derived from the political thought of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, John Stuart Mill, Karl Marx, John Dewey, and Mohandes K. Gandhi. In the process the philosophical underpinnings of current school governance, as well as school-based management alternatives, are explored. The analytic framework used in this study is referred to as "constitutional choice." Constitutional choice entails the articulation of political principles, consistent with cherised values, from which design specifications for the organization of particular governmental structures are derived. Constitutional choice applies equally to all institutions of human governance, including schools. It is argued that the current model of school governance is premised upon the value of efficiency from which the principle of expert control and the design specifications of centralized decision-making authority and bureaucratic administration are derived. It is argued that implicit in this model is the "elite" conception of democracy, as exemplified in the political thought of Max Weber, Joseph Schumpeter, Sammuel Huntington, among other political theorists. The elite conception of democracy maintains that decision-making authority should be the exclusive perogative of experts, reducing popular participation to the periodic selection of elites. In contrast to the current system of school governance, an alternative model is articulated based upon the value of human development. This model is consistent with a constellation of principles and design specifications which comprise the central core of the developmental conception of democracy. This conception maintains that the ultimate end of government is the development of human beings, and that direct democracy is the system of governance most conducive to human development. The model proposed here forms a system of governance that is fundamentally "integrated," in that it is simultaneously participative, communicative, associative, and non-violent, as well as being sensitive to the need for collective, democratic deliberation concerning the public interest. This model is compared with current school-based management proposals, with particular reference to the Chicago plan.
Issue Date:1990
Rights Information:Copyright 1990 Snauwaert, Dale Thomas
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9114418
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9114418

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