Perceptions of Student-initiated Active Citizenship

Active citizenship is an important aspect of global education, assisting students to develop the understanding that they can make a difference in the world, as well as encouraging students to develop empathy, self-confidence and moral thinking. Whilst active citizenship can assist students in their preparation for the future, it is rarely occurring to its full extent in schools. This study aimed to uncover perceptions of student-initiated active citizenship, from the viewpoints of students and teachers in two Australian primary schools. The study also sought teacher and school staff perceptions of the relevance of student-initiated active citizenship, gaining an indication of how much space teachers feel is in the curriculum for active citizenship opportunities in the upper primary classroom. The findings from this study revealed that students and teachers alike perceived significant benefits from students taking part in active citizenship opportunities. The perceived benefits outweighed the negative aspects and a positive impact was noted on students' mental health, maturity and attainment, among other benefits.
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