A mixed method phenomenological case study of how members of a democratic micro school experience leadership and democratic principles
A democratic micro school is a school with fewer than 150 students that ascribes to a democratic leadership structure where all of the school community members, especially the students, have leadership in their learning. The purpose of this study was to develop a better understanding of the lived experiences of the members of a democratic micro school community, especially regarding leadership and democratic principles. The primary researcher used a mixed-method design with an embedded phenomenological case study to analyze a single democratic micro school. All primary stakeholders in the school community were subjects of this study which included the students, parents, and educators. The data collection process included a survey, focus groups, interviews, observations, and other school artifacts. Using six democratic principles and the LMX theory, this study to added to the literature by addressing the experiences of those individuals attending independent schools. Achieving democracy in school allows students and teachers to have control of their learning experiences. This study supported the importance of communication and trust and caring as the educational foundation upon which equity, curriculum and interests, vision and goals, and community relied. Future research could expand the understanding of democratic micro schools beyond the single case used in this study.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License.