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Children, the Management of Schools and Political Literacy

Mike Bottery
Oxford Review of Education
Vol. 16, No. 2 (1990), pp. 235-244
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1050405
Page Count: 10
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Children, the Management of Schools and Political Literacy
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Abstract

This article will suggest that pupils have both a need and a right to be involved, from a much earlier age than is normally assumed, in the running and management of schools. This will be argued in four main stages. First, a conception of the 'child' will be advanced which suggests that most present conceptions are not sufficiently catholic to capture the huge diversity of capabilities and behaviours, or are too conservative in their estimates of children's potentials. Secondly, the kinds of rights to which children should increasingly have access will be described. Thirdly, an assessment will be made of those arguments which purport to show that children should not have these rights. Crucial to this assessment will be the expanded and optimistic description of the concept of 'childhood'. Finally, by looking in detail at what is believed to be the strongest of these arguments, the limited rationality argument, and seeing why, in many respects, it fails, a view of pupils' involvement in management decisions in the school will be arrived at which suggests the early and increasingly democratic involvement of the child, an expanded concept of political literacy, and of genuine benefits for both children and society.

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