Building a Culture of Democratic Education in Young Democracies: The Interrelation between South Africa and East-Germany

  • Johann Steyn
Part of the Schriften der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Erziehungswissenschaft (DGfE) book series (DGFE)


The joint research project between researchers in Stellenbosch (South Africa) and Berlin and Frankfurt am Main (Germany) on democratic education in the light of the transformation processes in South Africa and Germany forms the backdrop for this presentation. Both countries are experiencing educational transformation after the fall of Apartheid and the Berlin Wall respectively, but this paper focusses more on recent developments in South Africa than on Germany.

This paper draws comparisons on the situation in these countries. Both countries are not only involved in reform initiatives such as new educational acts and policies, but they are experiencing serious difficulties as well. Although some progress has been made there still lies an enormous task ahead in the attempts to establish democratic values successfully. It becomes clear that building a culture of democratic education is not merely a matter of good policies, but of practical implementation.

Special attention is paid to relevant concepts such as democracy, transformation, quality and equality within the context of the theme before the balancing of quality education and equality of education is considered in more detail. The real issue is whether these concepts are reconcilable in a young democracy. Three possible responses are offered to the question whether quality and equality can co-exist in the building of a young democracy.


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© Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden 2002

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  • Johann Steyn

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