The distinction between democracy as procedure and democracy as a form of life shared with others was forcefully declared by Dewey in his book Democracy and Education from 1916 (p. 127). While the first aspect concentrates upon the forms and structures of democracy the second aspect accentuates the need to pay regard to the individual’s own actions in relation to others in the creation of a democratic society. Noticeable lately in debates about democracy and education is the apparent and intensified attention towards issues concerning ethics and values framed within ideas attached to liberalism and free market economy. Due to the founding of a decentralised system and the renaissance of values, transmitted through education – this time in the name of liberal democracy – the term responsibility intimately related to influence has been given an imperative position. What I find particularly interesting is the position responsibility for others has been assigned to secure the establishment of democracy as life.
Agreeing with the idea that education is vital in teaching young people to become responsible democratic citizens but disagreeing with the firm belief that providing knowledge in democracy necessarily has to do with rationality or the distribution of pre-defined values encourages a different approach towards knowledge, teaching, and learning. Perhaps a beginning to that approach would be to ask ourselves not only what we can teach young people but also how young people can teach us? The aim with this paper is to approach the meaning of responsibility as a social and moral joint through the images of responsibility created by young people. How do they describe the term and how can their description be understood from a broader sociological perspective?
|Keywords:||Living Democracy, Responsibility, Social Justice, Images|
Doctoral Student, The Department of Teacher Education, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden
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