Introduction One of the major current problems in the sociology of education is in trying to relate the macro and micro perspectives, the structural and interactional features of schooling, by trying to connect the experience of teachers and pupils in everyday classroom and school life within the wider societal structural processes. The identification of the parameters within which individuals or groups are producers or products of their cultural milieux is a task which will possibly always remain problematic for sociologists. One of the ways in which this link (in Wright Mills' phrase of bringing together public issues and private troubles1) might be explored is through the interpretation and implementation of the concept and strategy of participation within differing interpretations of democracy. In our political, economic, community and educational institutions participation is a notion which has at the present a high degree of credence at both the ideological and organisational levels.