Education for Democracy : Some Notes on the Swedish Case in a Piagetian Epistemology Tradition

Peter Eklundh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Almost all Swedish politicans since 1960 honestly believe in the necessity to give pupils real influence over their schools. The first aim with this paper is to give them some sound theoretical support for their conviction that experience of democratic processes is one important precondition for the survival of democracy. The theoretical support is drawn from researchers inspired by Piaget's epistemology. The second aim is to summarise, in spite of the politicians' strong support, the lack of progress and interest in giving more influence to the pupils from the different professional groups inside the school system. Finally the consequences for the concept of democracy is discussed with emphasis on the cognitive dissonance between the politicians' explicit goal and the implicit experiences made by pupils. Ought this to be an invitation to political scientists to politicians - that even if there is strong theoretical support for their standpoint - that it is a mission impossible? Or is it an invitation to political scientists to explore approaches for convincing headmasters and teachers that democracy has to be introduced, since we otherwise cheat our youth?
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-79
JournalCitizenship, Social and Economics Education
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1997

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Political Science


  • Idéanalys och normativ politisk teori
  • politisk teori och metod


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