Freya Aquarone

Thesis title:

Putting democracy at the heart of further and higher education: Principles, practices and future possibilities


Freya’s PhD research explores the role and function – both current and potential – of democracy in the ‘post-compulsory’ education sectors of FE and HE. By using a critical exploration of existing practice as a springboard for ‘utopian’ thinking, the research seeks to generate a grounded set of ideas about how mainstream practice might be transformed in line with democratic principles. Alongside a critical consideration of contrasting philosophical conceptualisations of democracy in education, drawing both on established theories of democracy and theories of social justice, the research will use qualitative interviews with students and practitioners doing unusual or radical work in the sector to explore possibilities for how FE/HE might be reimagined.

The research is organised around the following two research questions:

· What would it mean to centre democracy in further and higher education practice?

· What can the real-life experiences of students and staff in contrasting national, educational and socio-political contexts contribute to our understanding of this question and of the challenges involved?”

Social media:

Twitter: @freyaaquarone

First supervisor:

Alan Cribb


6 – Education, Mind & Society




We’re Trying to do Things Differently: the challenges of relationships and recognition in higher education