“That would give us power...” Proposals for Teaching Radical Participation from a Society in Transition

Edda Sant


In this article I explore how a group of Spanish students (aged 11–19) and some of their teachers understand ‘radical participation’ teaching and learning within the social studies class. I analyse, from an in-depth and critical approach using open questionnaires (n=131), interviews (n=7), and focus groups (n=4), the ways in which they interpret ‘radical participation’ and how they propose ‘radical participation’ be taught. The results suggest that ‘radical participation’ can be taught by: (a) deconstructing the concepts of power, participation, and politics; (b) empowering the students with the communication and critical thinking skills they require to participate; (c) establishing clearer links between schools and society and engaging students with current social movements.



Political Participation; Democratic Education; Citizenship Education; Social Studies; Critical Pedagogy; Social Studies Education; Civic Education

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ISSN 1920-4175 Critical Education