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Unpublished Paper
Power of a Democratic Education
  • Mary Alice Haddad
Nearly one hundred years ago John Dewey published Democracy and Education (1916), arguing that a democratic education was invaluable for imparting democratic values and practices. Since its publication dozens of countries representing a myriad of ethnic communities, religious traditions, and historical experiences have now established democratic governments, allowing us to test Dewey’s assertions. This article uses World Values Survey (WVS) data to test how educational experience in a democracy affects political values and behavior. It offers strong evidence that Dewey was correct. Using Hierarchical Linear Modeling the analyses show that education in a democracy has both individual and collective affects on democratic values and behavior, and that models including democratic education have better explanatory power than leading alternatives. Surprisingly, the analyses also reveal that experience in a democracy and a country’s level of democracy are largely unable to explain individually-held democratic values and are negatively associated with democratic behavior.
  • democracy,
  • education,
  • John Dewey,
  • political behavior,
  • values,
  • world value surveys
Publication Date
Citation Information
Mary Alice Haddad. "The Power of a Democratic Education." 2013 Working Paper.