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Abstract

This essay examines conservative Christian schools through the lens of democratic education theory in order to understand how these educational institutions might or might not be consistent with the principles of a liberal democracy. I identify four key characteristics of conservative Christian schools, including the way they attempt to withdraw from society, the importance role of authority and control in these spaces, their lack of diversity in both, and the presence of a politically conservative ideology. By examining these characteristics through the lens of democratic education, it becomes apparent that the arrangement and ethos of conservative Christian schools are not fully consistent with the principles of democratic education. With reference to the four key characteristics identified, Christian schools do not have a strong emphasis on civics education, do not develop a thoughtful pluralism, and do not aim to develop autonomy, all of which are key components in for a democratic education.

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