Education for participatory democracy: A Grade R perspective

  • V Linington
  • L Excell
  • K Murris
Keywords: early childhood development, Grade R, developmentally appropriate practice, socio-cultural historical approach, philosophy for children, community of enquiry, reasonable person, thinking skills, participatory democracy, inclusion, childhood, voice


This paper proposes a form of Grade R pedagogy in South African schools that addresses both the diverse realities of South Africa’s children and the principles underpinning a participatory democracy. The community of enquiry pedagogy we propose is based on a socio-cultural historical theoretical perspective and focuses on the nurturing of a reasonable person (both learner and teacher) in the context of a play-based Grade R (reception year). This relational pedagogy assumes the inclusion of child’s voice and the participation of child1 as thinker, and therefore challenges teachers to take up different roles as co-enquirers, democrats, guides and listeners.

Journal Identifiers

print ISSN: 0258-2236