London Metropolitan University Research Institutes

‘We’ve got rights, we’re citizens now!’: a case study of a democratic approach to learning in a secondary class in the West of Scotland

Author(s) Maitles, H.  
Publisher CiCe Publications  
Year 2006  
Editor A. Ross, Citizenship Education: Europe and the World  
Language English  
Age group -  
There is a near moral panic in Britain (and in most democracies) that young people are apathetic, alienated and disinterested in politics. The case study in this paper concerns a department in Scottish comprehensive school promoting citizenship through a democratic approach to learning. Pupils were given a say over the methodology and content of how and what they learn: would a participative learning style alter pupils’ citizenship values? The democratic classroom is possible, practical and rewarding. A previously autocratic teacher relaxed into a democratic role and derived great fulfilment in the transformation. But it must be stressed that the democratic approach is not an easy option. The study links to significant literature on pupil voice and decisions about how they learn.

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