`All you need is an idea!': the impact of values-based participation on pupils' attitudes towards social activism and enterprise

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Abstract

Education for citizenship has the teaching of controversial issues, the exploration of social values and the fostering of active participation at its core. This article focuses on a case study of 11-year-old pupils in a Scottish primary school, who were exposed to a new programme underpinned by values-based participation. The pupils initiated their own research into social issues of particular concern to them and used this as the basis for promoting enterprising ideas for social change. Non-participant observation of the work of the class combined with follow-up questionnaires and discussion groups enabled the researcher to establish pupils' views about social issues in a deeper sense, as well as establishing the way in which pupils' attitudes towards `enterprise' evolved. The findings illustrate that the pupils gained some useful skills in critical reflection, became more aware of their own potential for social activism and gained a wider perspective on communitarian principles.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-32
Number of pages14
JournalImproving Schools
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2008

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pupil attitude
pupil
participation
social issue
Values
participant observation
group discussion
primary school
social change
citizenship
questionnaire
Teaching
education

Cite this

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title = "`All you need is an idea!': the impact of values-based participation on pupils' attitudes towards social activism and enterprise",
abstract = "Education for citizenship has the teaching of controversial issues, the exploration of social values and the fostering of active participation at its core. This article focuses on a case study of 11-year-old pupils in a Scottish primary school, who were exposed to a new programme underpinned by values-based participation. The pupils initiated their own research into social issues of particular concern to them and used this as the basis for promoting enterprising ideas for social change. Non-participant observation of the work of the class combined with follow-up questionnaires and discussion groups enabled the researcher to establish pupils' views about social issues in a deeper sense, as well as establishing the way in which pupils' attitudes towards `enterprise' evolved. The findings illustrate that the pupils gained some useful skills in critical reflection, became more aware of their own potential for social activism and gained a wider perspective on communitarian principles.",
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AB - Education for citizenship has the teaching of controversial issues, the exploration of social values and the fostering of active participation at its core. This article focuses on a case study of 11-year-old pupils in a Scottish primary school, who were exposed to a new programme underpinned by values-based participation. The pupils initiated their own research into social issues of particular concern to them and used this as the basis for promoting enterprising ideas for social change. Non-participant observation of the work of the class combined with follow-up questionnaires and discussion groups enabled the researcher to establish pupils' views about social issues in a deeper sense, as well as establishing the way in which pupils' attitudes towards `enterprise' evolved. The findings illustrate that the pupils gained some useful skills in critical reflection, became more aware of their own potential for social activism and gained a wider perspective on communitarian principles.

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