Call for Papers: (1-2018) School Democracy and Increased Student Diversity


This special issue of JSSE addresses the theme “school democracy” which may be seen as any formal or informal attempt to involve relevant teachers, students, parents and other stakeholders in decision processes which affect the outcome of schooling.  Currently, several contextual processes seem to be important. This issue will be edited by Trond Solhaug, Norwegian University for Science and Technology, Trondheim and will be published in February 2018.

First, globalization continues to change communication, network, national and personal identities. Immigration continue to diversify European school classes which become more pluralistic  (Castels, 1996). 

Second, these global trends influence ways and means of social and political participation toward virtual as well as more occasional involvement  (Osler & Starkey, 2006).  New media also plays a greater role in communication, intercultural dialogues as well as enabling voice and democratization  (Eide, 2011; Osler & Starkey, 2006),(Haste, 2010).

Third, the financial and political situation makes it difficult for a political democracy to create welfare for its autonomous and self-supporting citizens and greater social stratification of European schools. 

Fourth, there is a continuous work to develop universal human rights and participation in school particularly in the name of European Council (EC) and the European Union (EU) (Hedtke, Zimenkova, & Hippe, 2008). UNESCOs member states also agree to develop competence autonomy and citizenship for all young people (Osler, 2012; UNESCO, 2004:3).  These expressed intentions and frameworks by EC, EU and UNESCO are all important for school democracy which is reflected in an increasing trend to develop educational programs for «democratic citizenship» or «active European citizenship» in most European countries (Hedtke et al., 2008) (Hughes & Sears, 2008). 

In short, “school democracy” may first of all be seen as important attempts to provide education, equal opportunity and self-determination for every child regardless of social and cultural background or personal assets of any kind.  Secondly school democracy may also offer experiences in democratic learning which may transfer to democratic practices in society at large. Throughout the world there may be a variety of measures consciously planned to serve both these purposes of which we like to mention; school council, student participation rights in school, and “open classroom climate” or efforts to give all groups a voice on important matters of teaching, knowledge, assessments and learning.

The upcoming special issue in Journal of Social Science Education calls for papers which deals with teacher practices, students and parents experiences  as well as how curricula frameworks and policy documents approach “school democracy” particularly (but not limited to)  increased diversity in classroom.

We are reluctant to impose a rigid framework but we would be especially interested in knowing how authors respond to one or more of the following questions:

  • What are the institutional frameworks for school democracy in a particular country/context?
  • What characterises diverse teacher understanding and/or practices of school democracy?
  • What characterises teacher practices in knowledge and competence development in culturally diverse classes?
  • What characterises diverse students understanding and/or experiences from participation in school democracy?
  • What characterises diverse students practices of children’s and Human rights in school?
  • What characterises educational curricula and policy documents on school democracy, particularly in an age of diversity?
  • In what way is school democracy linked to student’s personal development of Bildung and/or education for national and/or global citizenship and democracy?

The issue will contain:

  • An editorial in which key themes are highlighted and articles are briefly summarized;
  • 6 articles of between 6-9000 words;
  • 2-4 book reviews (each approximately 4-800 words long) on issues to do with school democracy in social science education and citizenship in school.

The following schedule will be used:

First submission by authors to editors until: 15 May 2017
Response to authors by editors by: 26 June 2017
Final submission from authors until: 21 August 2017
Final reviewing and papers ready for layout until: 1 November 2018
Publication: 15 February 2018


Castels, M. (1996). The Rice of Nettwork Society Cambridge: Blackwell Publishers.

Eide, E. B. (2011). Arabisk vår og arabisk høst. Internasjonal Politikk(4), 687-694.

Haste, H. (2010). Citizenship Education: A Critical Look at a Contested Field. In L. R. Sherrod, J. Torney-Purta, & C. Flanagan (Eds.), Handbook of Research on Civic Engagment in Youth. New Jersey: John Wiley & sons.

Hedtke, R., Zimenkova, T., & Hippe, T. (2008). A Trinity of Transformation, Europeanisation and Democratization? Current Research on Citizenship Education in Europe. Journal of Social Science Education, 6(2), 5-20.

Hughes, A. S., & Sears, A. (2008). The Struggle for Citizenship Education in Canada. In J. Arthur, I. Davis, & C. Hahn (Eds.), The Sage Handbook of Education for Citizenship and Democracy (pp. 123-138). London Sage.

Osler, A. (2012). Citizenship Education in Europe. In J. A. Banks (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Diversity in Education (Vol. 1, pp. 375-378). London and Los Angeles.

Osler, A., & Starkey, H. (2006). Education for Democratic Citizenship: A review of research, policy and practice 1995-2005. Research papers in education, 21(4), 433-466.

UNESCO. (2004). Message from the 47th session of the UNESCO international coference on Education and proposed priorities for action to improve the quality of education for all young people.

Guidance about the presentation of articles is available on the JSSE site at

Please use the online submission system to submit a paper.

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