An opportunity for participatory democracy?

Viviane M. J. Robinson
Vol 7, Number 1, p.11
Participatory democracy is a process by which individuals learn to make, live with and revise decisions about the running of the institutions that govern their everyday lives. One possible interpretation of the Picot Report is that it provides an opportunity for schools to be administered as participatory democracies. Its provisions give power to parents and students to make decisions with teachers about the curriculum, resources, and staffing of their schools. It will be argued in this paper that while the framework provided by Picot is consistent with the development of schools as participatory democracies, these aims are unlikely to be achieved unless the implementation processes incorporate a theory of change that includes the educative processes involved in learning how to participate. Without such a theory many of the problems of nonresponsiveness, alienation and vested interests will remain.