Constructing a Democratic School Community: A Grounded Theory Study

Aktaş, Halil Han
The aim of this study is to construct a grounded theory geared towards understanding the processes of establishing a democratic school community. To this end, the study was conducted using the constructivist grounded theory method. The research context was centered around a primary school community located in Ankara, Turkey, which was established by an educational cooperative, and the individuals interacting with this community for school development. Intensive qualitative interviews were conducted both face-to-face and online with 17 parents, 10 teachers, 2 school administration members, and 4 school development contributors. In addition, observations were done at the school over 14 separate days, and observations in meetings and events organized by the school community were also incorporated. Furthermore, extant documents created or used by the school community served as additional data sources. During the research process, data analysis commenced concurrently with data generation, utilizing strategies pertinent to the grounded theory method. As a result of the study, concepts reflecting the processes of creating a democratic school community were derived from experiences and practices of the community by abstractions and have been presented in the findings as theoretical categories. The constructed grounded theory posits that a democratic school community is linked with its ability to ensure structural coupling of functions and mechanisms, preserve congruence between societal embodiment and cognition, foster co-created meanings, evolve as a community influenced by and influencing its members, discern internal differences turning them into learning moments, and thus, presents a continuous process of self-referential formation and transformation.
Citation Formats
H. H. Aktaş, “Constructing a Democratic School Community: A Grounded Theory Study,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2023.