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Social Studies Courses at Swedish Upper Secondary Schools: A study of the relationship between social studies and students democratic competence
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013).
2018 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Swedish schools have a democratic mission to instill democratic values and knowledge in students. When they graduate, students are meant to be democratically competent citizens. In upper secondary school, this mission is executed in the social studies classroom. This is the only context in which Swedish schools actively try to influence students’ democratic competence. At the same time, not all students take the same amount of social studies courses. The purpose of this thesis is to study the association between social studies and students democratic competence, and the possible limits of such a relationship. Does social science courses really predict democratic competence, even when taking other factors into account? And if the goal is democratic competence, how much social studies is enough? Since democratic competence is connected to voting-behaviour and trust in government it might be a problem if students are given unequal access to the courses where it is created.

I hypothesized that social studies predicts democratic competence, and that there is a point during courses at which that relationship weakens. To test the hypothesis, a cross-sectional, quantitative survey study was conducted, using established instruments of measurement. The data was analyzed using regression models and analysis of variance, and results indicate that social studies predict democratic competence, and that students need to take three courses of social studies before the association with democratic competence weakens. Since most students take only one course of social studies during their time at upper secondary school, implications for the future of the democratic mission is discussed. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. , p. 28
Keywords [en]
Social studies, democratic competence
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-66119OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-66119DiVA, id: diva2:1180475
Subject / course
Political Science
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2018-03-07 Created: 2018-02-05 Last updated: 2018-03-07Bibliographically approved

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a77e741cc878272dfc1bd32eb836d526b6dedbd1cfeabfc681f00f56899e7fc3bb5496ddafec65c7ecb94408f5a6d788587cdaa6b7cd4a25a390784849f5186a
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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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