Students as Change Agents in the Community: Developing Active Citizenship at Schools
Sibel AkinDepartment of Educational Sciences, Middle East Technical University, Çankaya, Ankara 06800 Turkey
Basak CalikDepartment of Educational Sciences, Middle East Technical University, Çankaya, Ankara 06800 Turkey
Cennet Engin DemirDepartment of Educational Sciences, Middle East Technical University, Çankaya, Ankara 06800 Turkey
Promoting active citizenship is seen as invaluable for educational practices in schools particularly in existing social, political, economic, and cultural context of Turkish society. The present study is part of a European Union project that aimed to help students develop knowledge, skills, attitudes and values to actively participate in democratic life, mainly by learning and exercising their rights and responsibilities as citizens both at school and also in their community. The study explored the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values developed by students through the project which are considered to be necessary for active citizenship. Employing qualitative multiple case research design, the sample consisted of 82 eight-grade students and 3 social studies teachers from three different middle schools in Ankara. The data were collected during and after the implementation of activities through observation, formative evaluation forms, student focus group discussions, teacher interviews, and the project evaluation form. The data were analyzed by content analysis method. The findings portrayed that the project activities were conducive to develop the characteristics of active citizenship in students in terms of the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values.