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Underkända medborgare -Demokrati och medborgerliga kompetenskrav i ett betygssystem med fastställd gräns för godkänt
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
2019 (Swedish)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Democracy is a concept held in high regard today. The basis for democracy is the acceptance of political equality including a well-informed citizen body with opportunity to affirm their interests. Through (civic) education children are expected to develop the knowledge, and the competence, that is needed to uphold a democratic form of government. Although needed, ed-ucation is not a categorical requirement for children to gain full citizenship; this is instead based upon a arbitrary age. However, when Sweden introduced a criterion-referenced grading system in primary and secondary school during the 1990’s, it also included a sharp distinction in the grading between approved/passed ("godkänt") and not approved/failed ("icke godkänt", alter-natively "underkänt"). One can see an implicit tension between the universal conception of citizenship, and the fact that students may be failed in the (civic) education.

The purpose of this essay is to discuss this tension between civic education, and the criterion-referenced grading system that includes a sharp distinction between passed and failed school performances. This is done through two steps. (i) Firstly, the concept of civic qualification through education is discussed in relation to democratic theory, especially with references to the political theorist Robert A. Dahl. Based on this it is theorized that civic education can be understood as two distinct ideal types, strong or weak civic competence requirements. The weak requirements can be regarded as an expectation that civic education will result in competent citizens; whereas strong requirements implies that a student must reach a predetermined level of competence, e.g. a "passing grade". This theoretical framework is then used in the essay’s second step (ii), where an ideological analysis of debate articles regarding the criterion-refer-enced grading system is performed. Special attention is being directed towards the fact that students are at risk of being failed in their education. The purpose is to analyze whether a tension between civic education and the grading system arises. Through the ideological analysis it is found that this tension does arise but is nullified using weak civic competence requirements; although the strong civic competence requirements can be implicitly identified within the argu-mentation. Thus, the essay conclude that it is problematic to combine the two forms of compe-tence requirements because they are in many ways incompatible on a theoretical level. Finally, the essay asks if it’s possible by extension to have a school system that includes both civic education and a sharp distinction between passed and failed grades.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. , p. 48
Keywords [en]
Medborgarutbildning, betygssättning, betygssystem, medborgarskap, grading, civic education, citizenship
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-73990OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-73990DiVA, id: diva2:1313115
Subject / course
Civics
Supervisors
Available from: 2019-05-02 Created: 2019-05-02 Last updated: 2019-05-02Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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  • apa
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