Democracy, Communication, and Education in the Twenty-First Century

  • Adi Kidron
  • Noam Tirosh
  • Yael Kali
  • Amit M. Schejter
Part of the Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning Series book series (CULS, volume 17)


The dramatic technological advancements that characterize our current networked society have shifted the ways that people communicate, educate, and interact with each other. How could we build on these advancements to enhance the democratic essence of learning processes for the benefit of both society as a whole and its individual members? What are the opportunities? What are the challenges and threats? This chapter explores the added value of communication technologies to democracy and education. It then builds on this analysis in its examination of the relations between democracy and education, as exemplified in a specific case study: a set of two interconnected interdisciplinary courses in higher education, entitled, as the name of this book – Learning in a Networked Society. As such, it demonstrated a strong potential for cross-fostering of ideas between educational scientists – who focus on the interventionist, design-based study of learning – and social scientists, who may also focus on analytic study of spontaneous social phenomena.


Democracy Education Learning community Participation Socio-constructivist education Interdisciplinary understanding Voice 


  1. Barber, B. R. (1995). Participatory democracy. In The Encyclopedia of political thought (pp. 2650–2654). Oakland, CA: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  2. Benkler, Y. (2003). Freedom in the commons: Towards a political economy of information. Duke Law Journal, 52(6), 1245–1276.Google Scholar
  3. Berlin, I. (1969). Two concepts of liberty (pp. 118–172). Berlin, Germany: I.Google Scholar
  4. Bielaczyc, K., & Collins, A. (1999). Learning communities in classrooms: A reconceptualization of educational practice. In C. M. Reigeluth (Ed.), Instructional design theories and models (pp. 269–292). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  5. Bielaczyc, K., Kapur, M., & Collins, A. (2013). Cultivating a community of learners in K-12 classrooms. In C. E. Hmelo-Silver, C. A. Chinn, C. K. K. Chan, & A. O’Donnell (Eds.), International handbook of collaborative learning (pp. 233–249). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  6. Boix-Mansilla, V. (2010). Learning to synthesize: The development of interdisciplinary understanding. In R. Frodeman, J. Thompson-Klein, C. Mitcham, & J. B. Holbrook (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of interdisciplinarity (pp. 288–306). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  7. Bransford, J. D., Brown, A. L., & Cocking, R. R. (2000). How people learn: Brain, mind, experience, and school. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.Google Scholar
  8. Bruckman, A. (1999). Can educational be fun? In Game developers conference (Vol. 99, pp. 75–79).Google Scholar
  9. Castells, M. (2007). Communication, power and counter-power in the network society. International Journal of Communication, 1(1), 29.Google Scholar
  10. Collins, A. (2006). Cognitive apprenticeship. In R. K. Sawyer (Ed.), The Cambridge handbook of the learning sciences (pp. 47–60). New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  11. Collins, A., Brown, J. S., & Holum, A. (1991). Cognitive apprenticeship: Making thinking visible. American Educator, 15(3), 6–11.Google Scholar
  12. Dahl, A. R. (2000). On democracy. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Davidson, C. N., & Goldberg, D. T. (2009). The future of learning institutions in a digital age. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Dewey, J. (1916/2012). Democracy and education. Hollywood, FL: Simon and Brown.Google Scholar
  15. Dutton, W. H. (2008). The Wisdom of Collaborative Network Organizations: Capturing the Value of Networked Individuals . Prometheus, 26(3), 211–230.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Gordon, N. (2001). Dahl’s procedural democracy: A Foucauldian critique. Democratization, 8(4), 23–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Habermas, J. (1996). Between facts and norms: Contributions to a discourse theory of law and democracy. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Howard, P. N., & Hussain, M. M. (2011). The role of digital media. Journal of Democracy, 22(3), 35–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Jay, M. (1984). Marxism and totality: The adventures of a concept from Lukács to Habermas. Berkeley/Los Angeles, CA: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  20. Kali, Y., Levin-Peled, R., & Dori, Y. J. (2009). The role of design-principles in designing courses that promote collaborative learning in higher-education. Computers in Human Behavior, 25(5), 1067–1078.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Kali, Y., & Linn, M. C. (2007). Technology-enhanced support strategies for inquiry learning. In J. M. Spector, M. D. Merrill, J. J. G. V. Merriënboer, & M. P. Driscoll (Eds.), Handbook of research on educational communications and technology (3rd ed., pp. 445–461). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  22. Kidron, A., & Kali, Y. (2015). Boundary breaking for interdisciplinary learning. Research in Learning Technology, 23(1), Article No: 26496.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Kidron, A., & Kali, Y. (forthcoming). Online learning communities as a pedagogical approach for promoting interdisciplinary understanding through knowledge integration. Educational Technology Research and Development.Google Scholar
  24. Kirschner, P. A. (2002). Cognitive load theory: Implications of cognitive load theory on the design of learning. Learning and Instruction, 12(1), 1–10.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Kobbe, L., Weinberger, A., Dillenbourg, P., Harrer, A., Hämäläinen, R., Häkkinen, P., et al. (2007). Specifying computer-supported collaboration scripts. International Journal of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning, 2(2), 211–224.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Lave, J., & Wenger, E. (1991). Situated learning: Legitimate peripheral participation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Linn, M. C. (1995). Designing computer-learning environments for engineering and computer science: The scaffolded knowledge integration framework. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 4(2), 103–126.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Linn, M. C. (2006). The knowledge integration perspective on learning and instruction. In R. K. Sawyer (Ed.), The Cambridge handbook of the learning sciences (pp. 243–264). New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  29. Linn, M. C., & Eylon, B.-S. (2011). Science learning and instruction: Taking advantage of technology to promote knowledge integration. New York: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Linn, M. C., & Hsi, S. (2000). Computers, teachers, peers: Science learning partners. New York: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Schejter, A. (2013). Rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens: Does democracy count? In Beyond broadband: Developing data-based information policy strategies (pp. 113–128). New York: Fordham University Press.Google Scholar
  32. Schejter, A., & Tirosh, N. (2014). New media policy: The redistribution of voice. In Y. Liu & R. Picard (Eds.), Policy and marketing strategies for digital media (pp. 73–86). London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Schejter, A., & Tirosh, N. (2015). “Seek the meek, seek the just”: Social media and social justice. Telecommunications Policy, 39, 796–803.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Schejter, A., & Tirosh, N. (2016). A justice-based approach for new media policy: In the paths of righteousness. London: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind in society: The development of higher mental process.Google Scholar
  36. Woo, Y., & Reeves, T. C. (2007). Meaningful interaction in web-based learning: A social constructivist interpretation. The Internet and Higher Education, 10(1), 15–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Yona, Y. (2006). Democracy. In U. Ram & N. Berkovitz (Eds.), In/Equality. Jerusalem: Bialik Institute. [Hebrew].Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adi Kidron
    • 1
  • Noam Tirosh
    • 2
  • Yael Kali
    • 1
  • Amit M. Schejter
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Learning, Instruction, and Teacher EducationUniversity of HaifaHaifaIsrael
  2. 2.Department of Communication StudiesBen-Gurion University of the NegevBeer ShevaIsrael
  3. 3.Department of Communication StudiesBen-Gurion University of the NegevBeer ShevaIsrael
  4. 4.Donald P. Bellisario College of CommunicationsThe Pennsylvania State UniversityPAUSA

Personalised recommendations