This study explored how participatory disciplinary systems in democratic (open) schools reflect distinct models of students’ collective rights to participate in decision making embedded in different patterns of legal socialisation. Drawing on semi-structured interviews with students, educators, and parents from three democratic schools in Israel, the study revealed contradictory approaches. One student participation model subscribes to a strictly legalistic approach, grounded in a criminal justice discourse and encompassing all aspects of the school's everyday life as well as after-school hours. A second model of participatory practices operates a flexible disciplinary system derived from mediative and therapeutic principles, applying procedural rules only in severe cases. The differences between the models indicate that participation does not inherently shape the contours of schools’ disciplinary systems. They challenge the dichotomous discourse in the literature on participation rights and legal socialisation, contrasting punitive vs. participative disciplinary methods and coercive vs. consensual approaches towards rules.
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- Children's rights
- legal socialisation
- participation rights
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science
- General Social Sciences