Questioning the parental right to educational authority – arguments for a pluralist public education system1

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Englund, Tomas (2010)
  • Publisher: Education Inquiry
  • Journal: Education Inquiry (issn: 2000-4508, eissn: 2000-4508)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.3402/edui.v1i3.21944
  • Subject: parental right, educational authority, pluralism, deliberation, international conventions on parents’ rights

What could the principle of a parental right to educational authority mean for democracy in the long run? Taking its starting point in three models of educational authority, this article questions the current permissive attitude to a parental right in this area. It does so in the light of the shortcomings of such a right with regard to pluralism in education for each child and a development towards a democracy with deliberative qualities, which is used here as a normative point of reference. The article develops three arguments for a common pluralist public education system for the public good and analyses different ways in which the parental right to educational authority has been legitimised as a basis for creating independent schools. It also highlights the neglect of the role of political socialisation in political philosophy, while raising the question of whether it is possible to create a deliberative democracy without future citizens growing into a deliberative culture, with schools serving as the crucial intermediate institution.Keywords: parental right, educational authority, pluralism, deliberation, international conventions on parents’ rights(Published: 1 September 2010)Citation: Education Inquiry Vol. 1, No. 3, September 2010, pp.235–258
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