The relationship between democracy and education by Ayşe Ottekin Demirbolat

By Ayşe Ottekin Demirbolat

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While citizens have more passive roles in societies with a priority for the responsibility concept, they have more active roles in a society that gives priority to the concept of rights. The good citizen concept was discussed by John Kahne and Westheimer in terms of three categorical aspects. Their classification includes the conceptions of the personally responsible, the participatory and the justice-oriented citizen (Westheimer, 2003). The personally responsible citizen type is willing to help and spare time for others.

Students may expect a teacher to pay attention to academic goals before an exam period, but in the first days of the school when the teacher does not even know the students well, too much emphasis on the institutional dimension may cause the climate to be perceived as repressive. A teacher who wants to create a democratic climate should try to achieve an interaction that allows both dimensions to be balanced properly and at the right time. Individual expectations should not be neglected for institutional goals, and vice versa.

The lack of harmony between political culture and political structure lies at the basis of political crises experienced especially in under-developed countries. It is essential that nations in the process of democratic development establish a political culture that harmonizes with the aimed at political structure. However, political culture is a product of the common history of individuals and is reinforced by public and individual experiences. Hence, it is not at all easy to change established political values and beliefs.

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