Hogeschool van Amsterdam

Kenniscentrum Onderwijs en Opvoeding

Adolescent citizenship and educational track

a qualitative study on the development of views on the common good


Studies show adults’ attitudes towards citizenship to be related to their educational level. It has been claimed that higher educated people more often possess ‘good’ citizenship values. However, only limited insight exists into how differences in citizenship attitudes between adolescents from various educational tracks develop over time. In this qualitative longitudinal study, we investigate the perspectives of adolescents from different educational tracks on aspects of citizenship. The results show that adolescents in higher tracks develop stronger political orientations with age and learn to focus more strictly on competition between perspectives and on formal procedures of decision-making. Those in the lower track remained rather uninterested in politics but stick to their emphasis on consensus and inclusiveness. Overall, our study shows that ‘good’ vs. ‘bad’ citizenship values do not simply coincide with educational level and provides a more nuanced insight into adolescent developmental trajectories towards citizenship.

Reference Nieuwelink, H., ten Dam, G., & Dekker, P. (2019). Adolescent citizenship and educational track: a qualitative study on the development of views on the common good. Research Papers in Education, 34(3), 373-388. https://doi.org/10.1080/02671522.2018.1452958
Published by  Kenniscentrum Onderwijs en Opvoeding 1 January 2019

Publication date

Jan 2019


Geert ten Dam
Paul Dekker