London Metropolitan University Research Institutes

Does school support the adolescent participation in society?

Author(s) Gril, A.  
Publisher London: CiCe  
Year 2010  
Editor P. Cunningham & N. Fretwell, Lifelong Learning and Active Citizenship  
Age group -  
The aim of the contribution is to propose some possibilities in the school that could stimulate adolescent social participation in the community. We researched the importance of active learning in the class, opinion exchanges with teachers and involvement in the extracurricular activities as well as students’ social knowledge and motivation for the students’ social participation. The study was conducted in the elementary and secondary schools in the capital of Slovenia in the school year 2007/08. Participants were students in the 5th and 8th grade of elementary school (N=816) and 1st and 3rd grade of secondary schools (N=816) as well as their teachers (those who teach the subject citizenship education in the elementary school and the sociology in the secondary school). They answered the questionnaire consists of multi-choice questions on class and extracurricular participation as well as social participation. The results revealed that the teachers considered the development of critical thinking and political knowledge as more important learning aims than formation of participative skills through active engagement in the class. Teachers also reported higher level of student involvement in the decision making in the class than the students have done. These experiences with decision making in the class as well as at the school level were among the most important predictors of students’ social participation, besides the engagement in the school projects and interest activities with the social content. Students’ social knowledge and motives also showed considerable effect on their social participation. Therefore the results are concordant with the basic domains of civic education in the school. But there remain the question of how to raise the very low proportion of students who are actively engaged in the community? Key words: social participation, active classes, extracurricular activities, social cognition, civic education, adolescents

Back to search results


   Page last updated 09 March 2011