What future teachers believe about democracy and why it is important

David Zyngier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


This paper analyses pre-service education student perceptions and
perspectives related to education for democracy in Australia. Using
a critical pedagogical framework datum from an online survey, it
presents both quantitative and qualitative responses of contrasting
understandings of democracy. It begins by outlining the concepts
of thick and thin democracy and why this is important in relation
to contemporary debates about the state of civics and citizenship
education, and then explains the conceptual framework of critical
pedagogy and methodology. The datum analysed is discussed in
relation to neoliberalism and indicates that the pre-service teachers
in this study view democracy in a narrow or thin way that may impact
on their classroom practice where they would be teaching about
but not for democracy. A more critical and thicker understanding
of democracy is suggested as essential if we desire our students to
become active and transformative citizens.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)782-804
Number of pages23
JournalTeachers and teaching: theory and practice
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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