Education and Democracy in the Time of Digitisation

Mike Douse, Philip Uys


With Digitisation, each of “democracy”, “education” and, consequently, and conclusively, “Education and Democracy” enters an exciting new dimension. Current considerations of how “government by the people” should be addressed, encouraged and embodied in schools are outdated, unless the realisation that nothing can ever be the same again becomes the starting-point. This paper explores the nature of that forthcoming and fundamental transformation, as made necessary and possible through contemporary technology and as embodied in The Global School. Just as piecemeal Information and Communication Technology (ICT) applications are of limited significance, so also are isolated experiments with democratic educational initiatives now obsolete. Universal connectivity straddles schools worldwide and cuts across the institutional, societal and historical factors that gave rise to pernicious politico-socio-educational injustice. Propagating democracy is essentially undemocratic; moral education is the antithesis of morality. The need from now onwards is for a convivial learning-supporting pedagogy, delivering the creative learner-driven curriculum, with the open, well-informed and on-going debate as the fundamental methodology. The substance, practice and consequences of education may now become much more equitable, ethical and enjoyable (and far less competitive, test-oriented and world-of-work-dominated). These and other implications for “Education and Democracy” of this ground-breaking “Education embodying Digitisation” reality are investigated and welcomed.

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