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Wednesday 14th of June
Paper session 1 – Wednesday: 13.45-14.25 p.m.
Sam Mejias and Shakuntala Banaji – room M.0155
UK Youth Citizenship after Brexit: Media, Education and Policy Invisibility in a Contentious Age
After Brexit, a wave of stories about the failings of disengaged young people appeared in UK mainstream media outlets. Condemned for forfeiting their future, media coverage quickly reversed course after it emerged that most had voted, opting to remain. For ‘Remainers’, the young have emerged as a symbol of the negative long-‐term effects of Brexit on Britain’s future generations, while ‘Leavers’ feel youth have been saved from their own ignorance of the scourges of the EU. Our study asked what young people across the UK actually thought about politics, their own citizenship, Brexit and the future of the UK. Through an innovative and collaborative research partnership with the All Party Parliamentary Group on a Better Brexit for Young People1, we conducted a series of focus groups to engage young people in both remain and leave parts of the country in conversations about their citizenship. We found that young people feel deeply marginalised and disconnected from Brexit and its aftermath, perceiving a lack of self-‐efficacy in understanding or trusting media messages, complex political issues, and the role of the EU in their lives.
Jennifer van Krieken Robson – room M.0164
The intersection of counter terrorism and early years policy: early years leaders’ navigation of the requirement to promote Fundamental British Values in the curriculum and pedagogy.
National security and education have frequently intersected in UK policy; previous studies (Preston, 2015) have found that policy implementation stalled as a result of public pedagogies of resistance. In 2015 the new Conservative government harnessed early years settings (providing funded early childcare provision) to the anti-terrorism strategy by placing them in scope of the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015 and therefore subject to the ‘prevent duty’ which requires them to have due regard to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism. However, the promotion of Fundamental British Values as a specific measure to prevent young children being drawn into terrorism has raised questions about the role of the early years sector, as an instrument of wider government policy, beyond early education and care. This paper has a dual focus; firstly it critiques the policy development as an ‘instrument of social control’ (Lavelette and Pratt, 2006) and secondly it analyses the ways in which early years practitioners understood and subsequently mediated the implementation of policy in their practice by conceptualising young children as citizens. Drawing on Mills’(1956) theoretical perspectives of the ‘mass’ and the ‘public’ I suggest that responses within the early years sector reflect a highly critical stance, their opinions remain independent from instituted authority and they resisted a powerful counter terrorism discourse visible within national policy.
Isolde de Groot and Jeroen Bron – room M.0161
Meaningful Political Participation and Civic Education: the Case of Mock Elections
Many governments in Europe encourage schools to involve students in political or democratic practices. In this theoretical paper, we argue that evaluation criteria for student political participation as defined in existing models for participation are of limited value for evaluating student participation in the organisation and facilitation of civic projects like mock elections (ME). To address this void we propose five additional criteria for the evaluation of political participation in the context of ME: the extent to which students have the opportunity to 1) cast their votes, 2) influence public debate on political issues/events, 3) gain a sense political efficacy and 4) develop a moral compass for political participation, and 5) contribute to the school as political community. Our thesis is that ME that confine to these criteria can play a central role in preparing students for political participation in pluralist democracies.
Paper session 2 – Wednesday: 16.20-17.00 p.m.
Katharina Eckstein – room M.0155
Comparing school-based predictors of active citizenship among youth from diverse social and cultural background
With its goal to educate mature citizens, schools are an influential context of socialization. Research shows that participatory-democratic characteristics of the school context predict students’ civic attitudes and behaviors (active citizenship). Although previous studies identified a wide variety of school-related experiences underlying youth active citizenship, we still lack a deepened understanding to what extent these factors affect all young people in similar ways. It is therefore the goal of the following two studies to examine predictors of active citizenship with a special focus on differences according to young people’s socio-demographic (e.g., educational level, cultural background) and familial background (e.g., politicized home environment). Our results show that experiences at school predict youth active citizenship. At the same time, our findings indicate possible group differences (e.g., by ethnic and educational/ familial background) that need to be taken into account. These findings also have an impact on the practical implications of our results. The possibilities to provide more differentiated measures that are tailored to specific groups’ characteristics in order to promote civic attitudes and behaviors will be discussed.
Laurence Guérin – room M.0164
Scientific Citizenship: From a Theory of Democracy to Learning Activities
The main goal of this research is to justify and structure the translation of a chosen theoretical framework of democracy into concrete learning activities. The emphasis on scientific citizenship competencies is given through a specific idea of democracy and good citizenship: an epistemological theory of deliberative democracy. According to this theory the essence of democracy is collective deliberation and decision-making. Group problem solving has been defined as citizenship education. In order to make a significant contribution to collective decision-making, citizens must be able to deliberate on all sorts of issues, evaluate them, find solutions and ideally reach shared agreements. But researchers warn that low scientific literacy can lead to citizens developing naïve ideas about science and to them being unable to follow current discussions. This theoretical framework has been translated into educational principles (1) developing argumentation skills, (2) connecting different perspectives (connected learning), (3) learning how to make group decisions and (4) learning to think together. For the organisation of the learning activity: problem based learning has been chosen. A general learning goal has been defined and concrete learning activities dealing with SSI have been developed. Democracy and citizenship are controversial concepts and need to be explicitly discussed.
Winston Thompson – room M.0161
On the Pedagogical Dimensions of Morally Acceptable Political Protests
Freshly removed from a divisive and emotionally charged election season in the US and elsewhere, it is perhaps easy to find attitudes of distrust and charges of bad faith levied by one group of citizens at another. In my paper, I focus on a particular pattern of social skepticism regarding the loosely organized social movements and acts of protest that have been mainstays of the social landscape in recent years (in both the US and Western Europe).
Stated plainly: in the US, some parties claim to be upset with the form (rather than the content) of current social movements and protests. I will highlight the way in which these criticisms are based in a flawed understanding of the pedagogical dimensions of protest activities. I submit that political protests have a distinctively pedagogical dimension that can be explored by close study of contemporary protests as contrasted with historical narratives of enduring protests. In this analysis a clear response to these critics emerges, such that the educational aims of political protest are foregrounded and can be marshaled in the service of strengthening these protests and the civic engagement of their participants.
Paper session 3 – Wednesday: 17.20-18.00 p.m.
Michael Merry – room M.0155
Can Schools Teach Citizenship?
This essay attempts to disrupt the liberal faith in the efficacy and morality of citizenship education (CE) as it has been traditionally (and is still) practiced in most public state schools. In challenging institutionalized faith in CE, we also challenge liberal understandings of what it means to be a citizen, and how the social and political world of citizens is constituted. The article reviews the history of CE, leading theories of citizenship and CE in the liberal tradition, with particular attention to Gutmann’s ‘conscious social reproduction.’ Through examples drawn from schools in America and Europe, we show that CE in practice does not operate on the bases of non-repression nor non-discrimination, and has weak claims for legitimacy. In fact, CE in many forms reproduces social inequalities, and contributes to the expulsion of disadvantaged students from schools and from the ranks of recognized citizens.
Dorien Sampermans – room M.0164
Can schools engage students? A multiple perspective, multidimensional school climate research in England and Ireland.
This paper aims to underline the importance of the school climate. Researchers often describe the effectiveness of specific, social school characteristics (e.g. active learning strategies (Quintelier, 2010) or social relationships in schools (Pianta, Hamre, & Allen, 2012) to influence students’ participation. This paper will observe how characteristics or dimensions of the school culture (Thapa, Cohen, Guffey, & Higgins-D’Alessandro, 2013; Wang & Degol, 2016) are related and can affect students’ participation. Hereby this paper focuses, comparable to the analyses of Konold (2014) and Lenzi (2014), on multiple school culture dimensions. Subsequently it will add to this literature by including both the student- and teacher perspectives.
As England and Ireland have implemented citizenship education during the nineties and hereby have a strong tradition in citizenship education, this paper will rely on the ICCS 2009 data of these countries. By creating a multilevel SEM model of the school climate, this paper underlines the need to observe multiple school climate characteristics. A multilevel regression analysis emphasizes the existence of a relation between students’ engagement and the school climate characteristics. This indicates that future research should benefit of the inclusion of multiple school climate characteristics instead of focusing on one specific dimension.
Jan Germen Janmaat – room M.0161
Educational segregation and political engagement among late adolescents in four European countries
Schools that are segregated by ethnicity and social class are not only thought to enhance inequalities of achievement, they are also blamed for not preparing young people properly for participating in democratic politics later in life. This presentation’s principal aim is to relate the ethnic and social composition of classrooms to intentions to participate in politics and three other intermediate outcomes in order to assess how segregation affects the political engagement of young people. The intermediate outcomes are understood as conditions being influenced by classroom composition and influencing intended political participation in turn. They concern civic knowledge and skills, an open climate of classroom discussion and political efficacy. Intended political participation is understood as the ultimate outcome. I start by clarifying how the ethnic and socio-economic composition of classrooms needs to be understood in relation to segregation. I then identify six theoretical perspectives in the literature making different claims about the link between classroom composition and political engagement. Two of these perspectives have contrasting expectations regarding disparities of political engagement across classrooms. Three other perspectives anticipate different outcomes in terms of overall levels of political engagement. A final perspective argues that classroom social and ethnic composition has no effect on political engagement.
Thursday 15th of June
Paper session 4 – Thursday: 10.35-11.15 a.m.
Edwin Slijkhuis – room M.0155
The influence of students’ citizenship competences on their political and civic participation in early adulthood
The past decades show a decline in voter turnout and other traditional political activities among young adults (Putnam, 2000). Scholars argue that young adults have become alienated from democratic institutions and are politically uninterested. As a consequence, many Western countries encourage schools to promote active citizenship (Eurydice, 2012). The idea is that citizenship education will stimulate the development of civic competences and that better citizenship competences will lead to more political active citizens. In the current study we will assess the long-term effect of students’ civic competences on their political and civic participation in young adulthood. The citizenship competences are derived from the International Civic and Citizenship Study 2009, a survey for students in the 8th grade. In a follow-up study in 2016 the political and civic participation of the same students was measured by interviewing 120 young adults. Using multilevel analysis the effect of each of the civic competences on participation in early adulthood is analyzed, taking various other student characteristics into account. The analysis showed that the participation in the community during secondary school predicts both traditional political activities and more informal political consumption. Political consumption also benefits from students with a lot of civic knowledge. Civic participation is best served by students who are politically efficacious. These findings will be discussed in light of previous research on the link between civic competences and participation in society.
Lies Maurissen – room M.0164
Classroom discussion and political tolerance: the importance of mutual respect and responsiveness
Deliberative democratic theory argues that discussions are essential for democratic capacity building. Also within citizenship education research, attention is given to discussions, as it fosters political engagement. Especially political tolerance is expected to be influenced by discussions. Schools hold an enormous potential for students to practice reasoning, listening, considering different viewpoints and treating each other as equals, commonly referred to as an ‘open classroom climate’. Previous research shows inconclusive results regarding the effect of such discussions on tolerance. We argue that besides an open discussion climate, mutual respect and responsiveness towards student demands are necessary to positively influence political tolerance. Results of a multilevel analysis confirm that the discussion climate, a respectful relation between students and teachers and responsiveness towards student demands have a positive effect on tolerance. To understand the underlying mechanism, structural equation modelling is used. The analysis shows that respectful relations and responsiveness towards student demands are in fact more important than the discussions themselves. We therefore conclude that when schools want to positively affect students’ political tolerance, they should invest in creating a climate of fairness and mutual respect, combined with giving the students the feeling that their efforts are valued by the school.
Bryony Hoskins and Magdalena Ho Ching Mok – room M.0161
Understanding how young people learn political engagement: the relationship between political learning in the home and political learning at school in Europe and Asia
Political mobility (Brady et al 2015: Scholzman 2012), the inequalities in chances for a young person to politically engage from a family that is politically active compared to a family which is less so, is an emerging field of study. This paper will explore one step in the process of political mobility focusing on the transition of discussion of politics in the home and how this influences access to open classroom climate in the school. The paper will explore the extent that this process has a mediating effect on future political engagement.
Paper session 5 – Thursday: 11.35-12.15 a.m.
Shawn Rosenberg – room M.0155
Democratic Citizenship in a Time of Right Wing Populism: The Limits and Potential of Educating for Democratic Citizenship
In a time of resurgent right wing populism, there is renewed concern regarding the competence of the citizenry of democratic societies. The first aim of this paper is to offer an alternative conception of what this ‘competence’ might mean. Rejecting a classical liberal view, the development of democratic practices and citizen capacities is considered from the perspective of a theory of the dual structuration of the individual and the social context. This focuses on the reciprocally constructive relationship between society and individuals. The result is a critical developmental view of democratic institutions and citizen competence. In this context, research is presented that suggests that the vast majority of citizens of the western democracies lack the basic competence required of responsible citizenship. It involves a in-depth, semi-structured interviews on the political reasoning of 60 school children in grades 4-12 (ages 10-18) attending school in an advantaged area. The conclusion is that, despite their relatively privileged position, they are inadequately prepared for democratic citizenship. Guided by the theory of dual structuration, the paper concludes with a discussion of better pedagogical practices with an eye both to the institutionalization of the school and classroom as well as classroom practices.
Asli Kandemir – room M.0164
Tolerance in Fundamental British Values: A case study on young British-Turkish people in Northwest England
Social cohesion is under both theoretical and policy discussion for a while due to the pluralistic nature of the British society (Brown 2006; Letki 2008; Keddie 2014; Demireva 2015; Norton and de Haan 2013). Re/Production of social cohesion can be ensured through the accomplishment of certain domains such as ‘social order and social control’ inculcating ‘tolerance, respect for differences, [and] inter-group cooperation’ to societal members (Forrest and Kearns 2001: 2129). The value of tolerance may not necessarily signify a negative meaning, as Wendy Brown (2006) emphasises. However, as Herbert Marcuse (1965) aims to demonstrate in his concept of repressive tolerance, it can be used as a procedural, repressive value to reproduce the hegemonic relationship between the majority in a society and its minorities. In the British society, which is a highly plural society, the teaching of value of tolerance must, therefore, be taken into deeper and more critical consideration. This paper, as a result, aims to respond the question how the value of tolerance embedded in the education policies in scope of the fundamental British values resonate with young people for social cohesion with a specific focus on their formal and informal social and educational settings.
Trond Solhaug – room M.0161
Knowledge and participation in school as a predictor of intercultural empathy. A study of participation and intercultural empathy among Norwegian and Danish school students
In recent decades Norwegian and Danish schools experience increased cultural diversification among their students. Growing heterogeneity in origin and culture may enhance the risk of students’ marginalization, segregation or exclusion. In response to these challenges, this study is theoretically framed in an inclusive education perspective. It focuses on how knowledge of diversity and participation rights in school predicts student’s intercultural empathy. The study draws on primarily quantitative data gathered on paper questionnaires from 895 students in two upper secondary schools in Denmark and two in Norway. First, knowledge and information about culture and diversity predicts certain aspects of intercultural empathy. Second, participation rights is a more moderate predictor of intercultural empathy. Third, we find that there are substantial differences between boys’ and girls’ scores on intercultural empathy. Fourth school diversity context matters for student’s intercultural empathy. The results and their implications for teaching are discussed.
Paper session 6 – Thursday: 12.20-13.00 p.m.
Alieke van Dijk and Laurence Guérin – room M.0155
Working together towards Scientific Citizenship: measuring collective argumentation
In this paper, is presented a coding scheme, developed to gain insight in students’ collective argumentation skills while solving socio-scientific issues. This measurement was created in the context of a project that focuses on fostering students’ scientific citizenship competencies. The coding scheme is based on two models that address a combination of argumentation skills and transactivity. Measuring students’ collective argumentation skills over a long period of time makes it possible to monitor the development of these skills and to gain insight in the aspects of collective argumentation that need to be supported.
Beth Rubin and Kevin Clay – room M.0164
Civics lessons: The consequences of racialized (in)justice for youth citizenship and civic competence
The authors of this paper conduct research with African American and Latino young people in urban settings in the United States: Rubin investigating how young people come to see themselves in relation to civics and citizenship in varied public school settings, Clay examining racial and political identity development within the context of youth empowerment programs. In this work, and in the work of other researchers, they see that young people living in some of the poorest urban areas of the country have frequent and discouraging experiences with U.S. civic institutions; they also see promise in new forms of civic engagement, based on young people’s critical social analyses, that can inform and spur a reinvention of traditional approaches to civic education. This paper draws upon qualitative data sources to describe young people’s experiences of civic injustice and disillusionment, the “civic opportunity gap,” and overlooked forms of youth civic engagement that hold the potential to rejuvenate civic education practices.
Kerry J Kennedy, Hoi Yu Ng and Lijuan Li – room M.0161
Participation, Activism and Radicalism: Educating Citizens for Troubled Times
Traditionally, citizenship education has focused on preparing future citizens for conventional civic engagement. Indeed it can be argued that the influence of citizenship education in a democratic society is to produce conforming citizens, supportive of democratic institutions and in general supportive of the status quo.
Yet in recent times conformist citizenship education may not be enough to preserve democratic societies. More and more we see citizens opting for radical solutions to support democracy whether it is he ‘Arab Spring’, the ‘Umbrella Movement’ in Hong Kong the ‘Sun Flower’ movement in Taiwan or anti-Trump protesters in the United States.
This paper will report on data from Hong Kong to show how radical impulses are evident even in the preferred future participation choices of young adolescents and how for some the impulse continues into young adulthood. The implications for this radical turn in participation will be assessed to identify future directions for citizenship education in these troubling times.
Paper session 7 – Thursday: 13.50-14.30 p.m.
Susanne Haastert (roundtable) – room M.0155
The compensation effect of civic education in a cross-national perspective: is civic education more equalizing in comprehensive than in early-selection education systems?
While some studies find that civic education enhances political participation especially among children from disadvantaged backgrounds, other studies do not find evidence in support of that “compensation effect”. Yet, if education has the potential to counter the trend of rising inequalities in political participation, knowing under which conditions a compensation effect emerges is highly relevant for policy-makers and political scientists alike. In this contribution, I argue that one reason for these divergent findings is the institutional set-up of education systems. Early separation into vocational and academic streams, on the one hand, and school autonomy coupled with parental school, on the other, hinder the emergence of a compensation effect by increasing between-school differences within a country and by lowering the quality of civic education that children from a lower socioeconomic family background enjoy. I seek to investigate these expectations with a multilevel analysis of the voting intention of 8th-graders in over 20 European countries. Questions to be discussed at the roundtable are: Which other and additional institutional structures of education systems can affect the teaching of civic education and the degree to which children from disadvantaged backgrounds profit from civic education? Which factors are to be included in the multilevel analysis?
Lars Henning (roundtable) – room M.0164
Sciences in citizenship education: A training for teachers
A training for primary teachers was developed to foster teachers’ competencies in developing and implementing, in their class, group problem solving of socio-scientific issues. Another goal of the training was to stimulate teachers’ degree of openness while pupils were working in groups. Eighteen teachers took part in the training divided between two schools. Design-based research was used as methodology. First, the training was formulated according to educational principles found in the literature, then, it was designed, and followed by a try-out in two schools.
For the evaluation of the effect of the training on the teachers’ degree of openness and the evaluation of the training itself, a mixed methods design was used. The expected results are that the teachers’ degree of openness will improve. The results of the survey will enable one to improve the training.
Carole Hahn – room M.0161
Civic education, culture and transnationalism: a qualitative example
This is a qualitative study of civic education in secondary schools in Denmark, England, and the Netherlands that serve students from immigrant backgrounds. The theoretical framework uses the Octagon model of the IEA CivEd Study (Torney-Purta, Schwille, & Amadeo, 1999), which graphically depicts ecological and situated cognition theories. In addition, I use the concepts of civic culture (Almond & Verba, 1963; Hahn, 1998; Kennedy, Hahn, & Lee, 2007; Schiffauer, Baumann, Kastorano, & Vertovec, 2004), pedagogical culture (Hahn, 1998), and transnationalism (Castles, 2004; Knight Abowitz & Harnish, 2006). Several of the issues investigated grew out of analysis of and reflections about the CIVED Study of 1999. Aims of the study are to identify similarities and differences in how secondary schools prepare youth for political and civic participation in multicultural contexts. The study addresses these research questions: How do teachers perceive and enact education for citizenship? How do students describe their civic identity?
Paper session 8 – Thursday: 14.35-15.10 p.m.
Sigal Ben-Porath and Jasmine Blanks Jones – room M.0155
Civic Efficacy and Strict Disciplinary Practices
The strict ‘no excuses’ school model has become prevalent in charter schools serving low-income and minority students across the United States and is spreading in European schools. While researchers have examined the academic achievement of students enrolled in ‘no excuses’ schools, scholarship has yet to address how the model impacts students’ civic opportunities and civic/political efficacy. We investigate the civic consequences of the ‘no excuses’ school model on low-income and minority youth. The 28-month qualitative study asks: (1) How does the ‘no excuses’ context influence civic and political opportunities for engagement in a school community? (2) How do the civic and political practices and sense of efficacy of students attending ‘no excuses’ charter schools compare with those of students attending other school types? We conducted interviewed, focus groups and surveys and observed classrooms and shared spaces at both schools. The data presented in this paper suggests a negative connection between strict school environments and political efficacy and participation.
Pieter van Rees – room M.0164
Studying citizenship education: ‘objective’ and ‘political’ science
Citizenship is a contested notion: it entails different things in different political views. This makes ‘objective’ knowledge about citizenship and citizenship education problematic. ‘Objective knowledge’ in the social sciences is often defined as knowledge that is produced and valid independent from personal biases (Reis & Sprenger 2014). In the literature this is described as ‘mechanical objectivity’: applying strict methods and procedures to eliminate personal biases (Porter 1995). In this paper, I analyze the rise of this form of objectivity in the educational sciences in the Netherlands and reflect on possible problems it produces in the case of citizenship education. By comparing publications in the journal Pedagogische Studiën over the period 1920-2010, I argue that there has been a shift from comprehensive notions of citizenship, strongly linked with the personal view of the authors, to supposedly ‘neutral’ notions that are much more informed by the research methodology applied in the studies. I link this shift to a changing notion of objectivity and changing research practices in the social sciences. The question then becomes: who or what defines ‘citizenship’ in studies that strive for ‘objective knowledge’ and how does this relate to the contested nature of citizenship? My main conclusion is that the effort to eliminate the person in the pursuit of objectivity tends to obscure the politics involved in defining citizenship and thereby complicates the debate about citizenship education.
Remmert Daas – room M.0161
Assessing citizenship competences using rubrics
The types of instruments available for the assessment of citizenship competences thus far fail to reflect the diversity in approaches seen in teaching citizenship. By developing a framework of rubrics we hope to further the types of instruments available for assessment. In the broader study connected to this paper, we aim to develop and test this new instrument. In this paper we describe the results from roughly 800~1000 students who assessed their citizenship competences using the framework for one of three social tasks. Students were on average 16 years old, and either in fourth year general secondary education (havo), or first year vocational education (mbo). Based on the results, we discuss the suitability of rubrics for assessment of citizenship competences. The results are currently being processed, but some preliminary findings show both strengths and weaknesses to the approach developed. Most students appear able to select their (perceived) level of competence and to provide a relevant account of their proficiency. A much smaller number of students appear able to provide a sufficient account to qualify for the level they selected.