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Student participation in activities with influential outcomes: Issues of gender, individuality and collective thinking in Swedish secondary schools.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5308-7002
2010 (English)In: European Educational Research Journal (online), ISSN 1474-9041, Vol. 9, no 2, 208-219 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Drawing on a study in three Swedish lower secondary schools, this article examines how students engaged in the democratic processes involved in the formation of an action group intended to influence their school by making it more environmentally friendly. The aim is to acquire greater understanding of influential processes in relation to gender and both individualistically and collectively oriented ideas, including understanding of which students participate in such groups, the role gender plays in the likelihood of a student participating, how they act, and their experiences of participation. From observations of, and interviews with, four participants girls were found both to be more active participants and to have more positive experiences than boys. It is concluded that the group represents an arena for both individual and collective performance in which both individual and collective ideas are reflected. However, differences in the expectations of boys and girls concerning where and how they feel they should act and perform in school, seems to make the arena more suitable and more effective for girls than boys.  While the girls’ participation provided them with political confidence, the two participating boys did not gain this from the experience.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
European Educational Research Association (EERA)/Symposium Journals , 2010. Vol. 9, no 2, 208-219 p.
Keyword [en]
student participation, student influence, citizenship education
National Category
Pedagogical Work
Research subject
educational work
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-44861DOI: 10.2304/eerj.2010.9.2.208OAI: diva2:443236
Available from: 2011-09-23 Created: 2011-06-14 Last updated: 2015-04-30Bibliographically approved

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Rönnlund, Maria
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