Education for democratic citizenship in Malawian secondary schools: balancing student voice and adult privilege

Peter Namphande, Linda Clarke, Sean Farren, Alan McCully

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

In countries that embraced democracy after the fall of communism, education became a particular focus for policy change, particularly within their citizenship programmes. Schools that had been used to inculcate obedience to and unfailing support for authoritarian regimes were now being required to adopt citizenship programmes incorporating democratic values. This paper reports a study in Malawi that explored the school as a location where democratic citizenship is practiced. Using a multiple case study approach in three different kinds of secondary schools to explore students’ participation in school affairs, the study found that different forms of participation were being encouraged, with each school apparently socialising students to distinctive kinds of citizenship roles. The paper highlights a conflict between democratic values and traditional roles of schools leading to new and hybrid school cultures. Providing scope for student voice to be heard can lead to tensions and paradoxical practices.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)703-721
JournalCompare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education
Volume47
Issue number5
Early online date2 Mar 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2017

Keywords

  • Citizenship education
  • Malawian secondary schools
  • democracy
  • social studies
  • student participation
  • student voice

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