Perception of Democracy in Decision Making at School

The present research project entitled "Perception of democracy in decision-making at school" aims to study the perceptions of students of the 2nd and 3rd grades of General Upper Secondary and Vocational Upper Secondary education on the concept of Democracy in school life. The purpose of the study is to imprint and explore students' views on the institution of Student Councils, as well as other forms of their participation in decision-making that determine school living. This study is triggered by the proclamation of the year 2022 as the European Year of Youth and constitutes an action of participation of Greece in the main objectives of this European decision.

High school students in Greece participate in youth of the European Union and are one step away from gaining the right to vote at the age of 17. This project focuses on the decision-making processes that take place in the school environment and studies the possibilities offered through the operation of the school, but also the individual intention of students to participate. On the one hand, the aim of the research is to imprint the democratic processes within school life through institutionalised actions, such as the Student Councils. On the other hand, it attempts to draw the basic predispositions and individual motivations of students to participate both in institutionalised actions and in other collective activities that determine school culture. The existence of foreseen democratic procedures (such as 15-member and 5-member Student Councils) in school is a necessary, but not sufficient, condition for the cultivation of students' democratic consciousness. Therefore, it is a research question which factors (e.g., the evaluation of Student Councils, the school culture, etc.) may determine students' intention to participate in school living. Studying the evaluation of democratic institutions in Greek General Upper Secondary and Vocational Upper Secondary education, in combination with the factors that motivate students to participate in school life, give us the opportunity to illustrate how school conditions contribute to the formation of active democratic citizens. This project can ultimately contribute to the knowledge about the processes of political socialisation of young people and highlight focal points for the development of educational policy aiming at raising young citizens who embrace democracy and act towards its safeguarding. More specifically, the subject of investigation of the study focuses on the following thematic axes:

  1. Forms of participation in school
  2. School culture
  3. Forms of social/political participation outside the school
  4. Quality of life

  • CONTRIBUTORS: Katerina Iliou, Manina Kakepaki, Nicolas Klironomos, Maria Perivolaraki
  • YEAR: 2023
  • TYPE: Final Report
  • LANGUAGE: English