Clive Harber, Department of Education, University of Natal
In contemporary debates about education there is much discussion of ‘school effectiveness’. What constitutes an effective school and what makes a school ineffective? Much of the literature on school effectiveness has been concerned with what might be termed conventional indicators of school effectiveness, particularly examination results, because these are more easily quantified and measured. This literature has tended to avoid less conventional but arguably more important concerns such as whether schools can and do contribute to a culture of democracy and non-violence. The purpose of this paper is to review evidence that schools can contribute in this way if they are organized more democratically. Moreover, it is also argued that increasingly the evidence from studies of school effectiveness is that democratically organized schools are also more successful in terms of conventional indicators of effectiveness than traditional schools.