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Students as Political Animals: Exploring Students’ Understanding of a Political Issuein Social Science Education
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences Education.
2017 (English)In: Papers, 2017Conference paper, Published paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

School subjects such as social science have versatile goals that can be described as internal and external. The internal goals are closely connected to the academic disciplines and the external goals are formulated by the political sphere and include, among other things, the democratic values society wants students to be incorporated in as well as students’ engagement in public deliberation. These different goals can give birth to dilemmas for both teachers and students when they engage in highly political topics. In educational research these challenges have been discussed as epistemic cognition, motivated reasoning and conceptual change but correspond mainly to internal goals of school subjects. In order to understand the structures of the dilemmas this paper focuses on students’ understanding prior to teaching and how they reason about different political views on the welfare state. The data consists of written responses, year 10 students, on two different accounts of the best welfare state, one liberal and one social democratic. The data was used to identify students’ approaches to a political issue and their normative reasoning. Even though several students recognise ideological ideas, few students approached the topic from a social science perspective, distinguishing facts from opinions. One key issue is that students have problems recognising the difference between ‘politics’ and ‘the study of politics’. The study contributes to the understanding of the influence of normativity on students’ thinking and an attempt to bridge the dilemma of combining internal and external goals in social science education.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017.
Keywords [en]
Social Science Education, politics, political thinking, internal and external goals, qualification, subjectification
National Category
Didactics Political Science
Research subject
Subject Learning and Teaching
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-149592OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-149592DiVA, id: diva2:1163169
Conference
11th ECPR General Conference (European Consortium for Political Research), Oslo, Norway, September 6-9, 2017
Available from: 2017-12-06 Created: 2017-12-06 Last updated: 2017-12-07Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf