University of Oulu

Freedom-based education : rethinking democratic schools

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Author: Gioia Sandler, Bruno1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Education, Educational Sciences
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.5 MB)
Pages: 34
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Language: English
Published: Oulu : B. Gioia Sandler, 2018
Publish Date: 2018-11-20
Thesis type: Bachelor's thesis
The goal of this literature review based bachelor’s thesis is to offer a deeper understanding of the concept of freedom in the educational context and the application of such idea in democratic schools. In order to conceptualize the idea of freedom in education, a philosophical approach is taken to introduce the topic. The study continues with discussion of the work of the main three authors that are object of this thesis: Rebeca Wild, A.S. Neill and Daniel Greenberg, who use the concept of freedom in the educational context in their work and their schools. Elements such as respect, autonomy, trust, existence of limits and democracy are common values in the understanding of freedom by these authors and are important components of their educational philosophies. After outlining the understanding of the concept of freedom in the educational context, the focus turns to defining democratic education and introducing the concept of democratic schools as educational initiatives that follow the principles of democratic education. In addition to having freedom, equality and respect as a driving force, democratic way of managing the school and self-directed learning are core values to this way of understanding education. A deeper understanding is offered by showing examples of real-life practices where the idea of freedom is applied in these schools. After examining of some of the characteristics of these schools, certain gaps are found and a main critique is raised. In this thesis I am proposing the use of the term freedom-based education as an alternative to the democratic education one. The reason behind this proposal is to open a discussion about the shape of the democratic model that is applied in this type of schools and which alternatives could be used. By proposing the term of freedom-based education I aim to collaborate on improving the concept of democratic education and making it more accessible to a greater number of people. Understanding the goal of this type of education as a transformative one makes it pose itself as an alternative to the mainstream educational model and offers a possible change in the educational paradigm.
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Copyright information: © Bruno Gioia Sandler, 2018. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.