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Democracy, Political Literacy & Transformative Education (DPLTE) Research Project

Overview of the Project


This DPLTE research project seeks to contextualize, identify, problematize and analyze how educators (and others) experience, understand and perceive democracy, and how this connection to democracy impacts their learning, their engagement and their students’ democratic experience in and through education. The DPLTE research project was funded the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), and took place primarily between 2012/2013 and 2017/2018.


The DPLTE research project also aimed to engage a range of interested parties in relation to how they experience and relate to education and democracy, and the international dimensions of the project involve engagement with different languages, cultures, conceptual and theoretical vantage-points, and a robust, critical and comparative analysis of the data.


The research sought to produce several studies on democracy in education as well as key theme reports (policy, institutional culture, pedagogy, curriculum, epistemology, leadership, and experiential/informal education) in relation to education for democracy.


This final report on this research project (see the home page for a link) includes a robust comparative, critical analysis of themes, trends and issues across the sites, providing significant information to local, national and international educational-systems, decision-makers, stakeholders, and scholars. A range of scholarly articles and manuscripts, presentations, reports, and instruments and protocols designed for the education/policy/community sectors, are, thus, made available with the intent of facilitating and extending the engagement process.


Cultivating a dynamic and dialectical dialog throughout the project is of the utmost importance, and we encourage input and participation from a range of interests, groups, sectors and people.

Project Team


The DPLTE research project is located, firstly, within Canada but it is also an international and global project. The Principal Investigator (Paul R. Carr) and Co-Investigator (Gina Thésée) are Canadian, and teach at the Université du Québec en Outaouais and at the Université du Québec à Montréal in Québec, respectively. The two collaborators in the project are Brad J. Porfilio of San Jose State University in the USA and David Zyngier of Monash University in Australia.


David and Paul are also the co-founders and co-directors of the Global Doing Democracy Research Project (GDDRP), which stems from research that Paul started in 2006 on the perceptions, experiences and perspectives of teacher-education students and educators in relation to democracy and education.


In addition, there are a number of other locally-based collaborators around the world undertaking projects using the research designs, methodologies and frameworks developed by the DPLTE and GDDRP. Moreover, there are a number of friends and supporters of this project, who have assisted in various ways over the years, including Joe Kincheloe, Shirley Steinberg, Joel Westheimer, John Portelli, Antonia Darder, Marc Pryun, Peter Mclaren, Ali Abdi, Lucie Sauvé, Tom Wilson, Darren Lund, and many others.


The research team in Canada also included the following research assistants: Gary Pluim, Lauren Howard and Franck Potwora. Each one of the research assistants provided invaluable support and expertise in a number of ways.

Paul R. Carr

Principal Investigator

Département des sciences de l'éducation

Université du Québec en Outaouais


Brad J. Porfilio


Deparment of Educational Leadership

California State University


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Gina Thésée


Département de didactique

Université du Québec à Montréal


David Zyngier


Faculty of Education

Monash University


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