National R+D+i (2018-2021). Democracy in schools …

  • Call: 2017 Call for R & D Projects corresponding to the State Program for the Promotion of Scientific and Technical Research of Excellence
  • Financing entity: R + D + i projects. Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness
  • Participating entities: Autonomous University of Madrid, Metropolitan Manchester University, University of Porto, Torcuato Di Tella University, Silva Henríquez Catholic University, Interinstitutional Council for Educational Research of the Ministry of Education of Jalisco
  • Reference: EDU2017-82688-P
  • PI: F. Javier Murillo
  • Number of participating researchers: 50
  • Duration: 01/01/2018 – 12/31/2021


Any endeavor for Social Justice should be concurrently an effort of democratization (Fraser, 2008). Building an Education for Social Justice must, therefore, necessarily address democracy in schools and the teaching of democracy. Thus, this proposal is based on the persistent research, development, transfer and training on Education for Social Justice of the research group “Educational Change for Social Justice”, whom, in this occasion, takes a further step focusing on democracy in schools. To this aim, it is strengthened by the Institute for Human Rights, Democracy and Culture of Peace (DEMOSPAZ) and the “Hermanadas por la Justicia Social” school network. It proposes an international study among 6 research teams from 3 Europeans and 3 Latin Americans countries. The current line of work harmonizes and reflects the latest international advances that request for greater democratization in school and in society. The three main objectives of this research are: – To know the conceptions of democracy from the school community members and the praxis at school context. – To understand the significances and political meanings that underlie the school democratic culture. – To deepen the knowledge and development of democracy for an education in and for Social Justice based on an action-research process with a network of schools committed to Social Justice

To achieve these three complementary studies are proposed:

  1. Phenomenographic study. In order to know the conceptions, a phenomenological study has been designed. The participants will be 270 teachers, 60 principals and 270 students from 6 countries and of different educational level, context and school ownership.
  2. Ethnographic study complemented with Social Network Analysis (SNA). At least 9 schools will be studied in 6 countries, involving principals, teachers, students, administration, staff and families in order to understand the senses and political meanings of the school community in relation to democracy. These studies will be reinforced with the Analysis of Social Networks in each school as a complementary research strategy that allows to know the power construction from interpersonal relationships.
  3. Action-Research will be held with a 7 school network that is characterized by working for Education for Social Justice. It seeks to transform and generate knowledge about education in and from democracy through a Project Based Learning (PBL) approach. The research has been designed to optimize its impact and internationalization. In this way, above collaborating with DEMOSPAZ and with the “Hermanadas” school network we stress the participation of 6 teams from six countries, and RILME network. But also it is developed a complete dissemination plan for administrators, researchers, teacher trainers, teachers and society in general. It includes the publication of 24 articles in national and international impact journals, a book for teachers, dissemination articles, reports for administrations, a web page and the use of other social networks, organization of an international event for dissemination, actions for broadcasting and designing a European research project.

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