Democratic experiences for children in an urban primary school - a critical autoethnography

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The article is an auto-ethnography recounting my experience of working in an urban primary school as its head teacher. My aim is to identify whether children’s agency is developed or undermined. Over a two year period, during which time I held a senior leadership role, I recorded my observational experiences in a daily journal. My focus was on children, especially children living in areas of generationally transmitted disadvantage. My intention was to question whether in Scotland democratically oriented schools are available to working-class children. I chose to focus on the experience of the children through the interactions in local authority publicly funded state school structures. The article aims to highlight the challenges that face the teaching profession and the ways in which the neoliberal pressures associated with education conspire against developing professional agency and a democratic culture for children.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDemocratic Experiences for Children in an Urban Primary School - A Critical Autoethnography
PublisherWestern Norway University
Number of pages18
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 27 Apr 2022
EventJoint Conference on Research in Education - Western Norway University of Applied Sciences Campus Sogndal, Norway
Duration: 27 Apr 2022 → …


ConferenceJoint Conference on Research in Education
Period27/04/22 → …


  • democracy
  • schools
  • agency
  • children


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