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Politik - vad är det?: Gymnasielevers uppfattningar om politik, politiskt deltagande och politikundervisning i samhällskunskap
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Political, Historical, Religious and Cultural Studies (from 2013).
2018 (Swedish)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The education of politics is a central part in the subject of Social studies. It's an additionally part of the overall mission to prepare the students for an active political participation in the society.

However, young people usually have subjective perceptions and experiences of the topic, what politics is about, and not very rarely with a negative mindset. With this background, it has become a challenge to teach social sciences in school, but also for the teachers to meet the students' perceptions and to pursue an education that creates an interest in politics but also challenges the students' negative mindset towards the topic.

The purpose of the thesis is to provide teachers in social studies with a basis in the designs of their Learning and Teaching Model in the topic of politics and political participation. The thesis's foundation consists of high school students' personal opinions and perceptions in relation to politics, political participation, the education and lecturing in social science.

The thesis's methodological approach consists of four qualitative focus group interviews with a sample of students from high school.

The result of the thesis reflects that students' perceptions of politics move towards the concept and framework of representative democracy, where the choice of representatives in form of politicians and national political parties, are the key elements. The three dimensions - polity, policy and politics - which are concepts of politics, are all presented in the students' perceptions from the interviews. The dimension of Polity is reflected in the students' opinions related to political parties, the parliament and the government, which are all important parts of the rules in the political game. The Policy dimension is presented in the students' reflections towards the political debate and the parties' standpoints in their specific political agenda and issues. The dimension of politics emerges in the students' thoughts and reflections towards the politicians and their parties struggle for the political power at national level, but also in relation to the citizens' power to affect politics.

Furthermore, students' find it important with a political engagement in the society - it's a responsibility. Despite this, the students' express a certain scepticism towards citizens complaining about the national politics, even though being political inactive with no political contribution. Additionally, the students' find it important to participate in elections.

Other forms of political activities and engagements that the students value as important, are demonstrations or petitions.

Most essential for the students' concerns questions and issues with a personal passion and something they can stand up for. What is not generally attractive amongst the students' is to candidate for a political position or to join a political party.

Concerning the students’ beliefs and perceptions towards the political education in the topic of social studies, the Swedish regime, the parliament, the government and the political parties are mentioned. Furthermore, the students reflect other countries national regimes.

During the focus group interviews, some students mention the lecturing of the political parties and in particular, focus group A and B had wished for a more in-depth education of the political parties.

However, the focus group C and D refers to one previous schoolwork with the task to immerse themselves in an optional political party and debate against another student. It was an educative task.

Interesting to note, focus group A and B requests education on continuous politics which address current issues of the daily political debate in the society.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. , p. 50
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-67707OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-67707DiVA, id: diva2:1219221
Educational program
Secondary Education Programme: Upper-Secondary School: Social Science (330 ECTS credits)
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2018-06-19 Created: 2018-06-15 Last updated: 2018-06-19Bibliographically approved

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