A Conceptual Exploration of Participation. Section I: Introduction and Early Perspectives

Ruth Thomas, Katherine Whybrow, Cassandra Scharber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


This article is comprised of three sections (each in subsequent regular issues of EPAT) that explore the concept of participation. Section I: Introduction and Early Perspectives grounds our exploration of participation and explores definitions and early perspectives of participation we have identified as 'historically original' and 'philosophical'. Section II: Participation as Engagement in Experience-An Aesthetics Perspective is a continuation of our conceptual exploration of participation that digs into the world of aesthetics. Finally, Section III: The Utilitarian Perspective and Conclusion focuses on utilitarian meanings of participation from political and international development perspectives. Collectively, these sections focus on the meaning and deconstruction of the term, participation. By bringing attention to gradations in meaning, we hope to raise awareness of the superficial use of participation that is reflected in much of the educational literature and highlight possibilities that more thoughtfully formulated and consciously chosen meanings of participation could offer the field of education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)594-613
Number of pages20
JournalEducational Philosophy and Theory
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 2012


  • Education
  • Participation
  • Plato
  • Theory


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