The right to freedom of expression: The mother of our democracy
This paper explores student-teachers' understanding of the right to freedom of expression in education. Analyses of case law and legal principles affirm that the right to freedom of expression is an essential prerequisite to protect and promote democracy. Based on qualitative research, the empirical evidence indicates that although student-teachers are aware of the fact that the right to freedom of expression is not absolute and may be limited, they have a superficial knowledge of the application of this right. Student-teachers have a sense of the importance of the right to freedom of expression in a democracy, but they have not yet internalised the mechanism or process of balancing the right in praxis. This does not bode well as the school system will fail to be a market place of ideas. In order to enable learners to reach their full potential as critical thinkers and autonomous citizens in a developing democracy, it is imperative that teachers should understand and master the application of the right to freedom of expression in schools.
Keywords: Democracy, human rights, freedom of expression, transformative curriculum, teaching-learning approaches, student-teachers
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Copyright in all material published in PER/PELJ vests in the author, provided that authors grant, by submission of their contributions, permission that their contributions may be shared and adapted without restriction. An author furthermore agrees that the same contribution may not be published elsewhere without the written permission of the editor.
Anyone gaining access, electronically or otherwise, to a contribution to PER, may quote from such contribution, use the intellectual content thereof, share and adapt it, but subject to the following conditions:
you must give appropriate credit, provide a link and indicate if changes were made; and
the copyright of the author(s) may not be infringed in any way.