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Lýðræðisleg hæfni fyrir lýðræðislega menningu

Lýðræðisleg hæfni fyrir lýðræðislega menningu

Title: Lýðræðisleg hæfni fyrir lýðræðislega menningu
Alternative Title: Democratic competences for a democratic culture
Author: Jónsson, Ólafur Páll
Date: 2020-01-28
Language: Icelandic
Scope: 181-200
University/Institute: Háskóli Íslands
University of Iceland
School: Menntavísindasvið (HÍ)
School of education (UI)
Series: Tímarit um uppeldi og menntun;28(2)
ISSN: 2298-8408
DOI: 10.24270/tuuom.2019.28.9
Subject: Lýðræði; Menntun; Lýðræðisleg hæfni; Borgaravitund; Dewey, John
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11815/2537

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Ólafur Páll Jónsson. (2019). Lýðræðisleg hæfni fyrir lýðræðislega menningu. Tímarit um uppeldi og menntun, 28(2), 181–200. https://doi.org/10.24270/tuuom.2019.28.9


Frá því á áttunda áratugnum hefur lýðræðisleg borgaravitund verið markmið íslensks menntakerfis og viðfangsefni Sigrúnar Aðalbjarnardóttur í kennslu og rannsóknum. Á síðustu áratugum hefur orðið vitundarvakning um þessi málefni. Í nýlegu riti Evrópuráðsins, Competences for Democratic Culture, er sett fram líkan með 20 ólíkum tegundum af hæfni sem lýðræðisleg borgaravitund krefst, þar sem hæfnin er ýmist (i) gildi, (ii) viðhorf, (iii) færni eða (iv) þekking og skilningur (Council of Europe, 2016). Líkan Evrópuráðsins er gagnrýnt og lögð til sú skilgreining á lýðræðislegri hæfni að hún sé samþætt úr gildum, viðhorfum, færni og þekkingu. Þessi skilningur er settur í samhengi við rannsóknir Sigrúnar á borgaravitund í lýðræðisþjóðfélagi. Í riti Evrópuráðsins er lýðræðisleg hæfni ekki sett í samhengi við ólíkar kenningar um lýðræði og því er ekki alltaf ljóst hvað geri hæfni lýðræðislega. Í greininni er þrenns konar kenningum um lýðræði lýst og skilgreindar eru sjö tegundir lýðræðislegrar hæfni sem byggjast á hugmyndum um lýðræði í anda Johns Dewey.
Since the 1970s democratic citizenship has been an explicit goal of the Icelandic educational system and also a topic of teaching and research for Sigrún Aðalbjarnardóttir. In a recent publication by the Council of Europe titled Competences for Democratic Culture: Living Together as Equals in Culturally Diverse Democratic Societies, a model for competences for democratic culture is presented. This can be seen as an attempt to describe the competences necessary for democratic citizenship. In the present paper I critically examine this model and present an alternative conception of democratic competences which I compare to some of the central ideas found in the research of Sigrún Aðalbjarnardóttir. My criticism of the publication of the Council of Europe is twofold. On the one hand, I criticise its lack of an explicit grounding of the model of democratic competences in a theory of democracy. This leads to the situation where a model of democratic competences is presented without much discussion of what makes these competences specifically democratic. On the other hand, I criticise the very notion of competence used in the publication. In the Council of Europe model, 20 core competences are presented, each of which falls into one of four categories: (i) a value, (ii) an attitude, (iii) a skill or (iv) knowledge and understanding. The alternative notion presented here defines a democratic competence as a complex construct composed of elements from each of these four categories. I define seven such complex competences: Discursive competence, Competence for conflict resolution, Competence for critical re-evaluation, Competence for communal living, Competence for resilience, Competence for forming a conception of a good life, Competence for respecting the natural boundaries of human living. In developing my own conception of democratic competences, I consider three kinds of conditions that make democracy necessary for a just society: a political condition, a moral condition, and a condition for individualization. I then consider three broad ideas of democracy which all respond very differently to these three kinds of conditions: liberal democracy, deliberative democracy and Deweyan democracy. The liberal conception of democracy views democracy as a forum for free competition of ideas but has little to offer in the way of democratic education. Democratic competences, according to this view, concern the ability to advocate and advance one’s own interests while also tolerating differences. The deliberative conception fares much better as it gives special attention to deliberation or discussion and mutual understanding. But the deliberative conception has shortcomings of its own. One problem for the deliberative conception is its starting point in structural issues concerning the way in which equal citizens might justly take collective binding decisions. In a school setting, the “demos” is not a group of equals but a group of individuals unequal in important ways and such collective binding decisions are not central to educational work. The third view, a Deweyan conception, offers an account of democracy much more closely connected to learning and individual virtues or competences than the other two and, therefore, much richer as a ground for defining democratic competences. The seven complex democratic competences I define derive naturally from a conception of democracy similar to the one presented by John Dewey over a century ago while, at the same time, being more practical as a guiding ideal for democratic education. These competences also reflect concerns which have been central in the research of Sigrún Aðalbjarnardóttir on democratic citizenship as grounded in the social, moral and emotional maturity of youth. Finally, I consider whether, by developing my conception of democratic competences, I have stretched the concept of democracy too wide.


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