Maria Jansson and Michele Micheletti have received funding for the project “Social Science Education on Trust for an Active and Critical Citizenship”.


Schools in general, and social science education in particular, have an assignment to prepare youth for a life in democracy. Through teaching, students are expected to advance their knowledge and become socialized in democratic behaviors and attitudes to become active and critical citizens (Ekman & Pilo, 2012). However, there are several challenges for teachers to realize these aims such as handling tensions between critical thinking and socialization (Sandahl, 2015); a societal trend of diminishing support for democracy and its ideals (Manning & Edwards, 2014); fading social and political trust (Holmberg & Rothstein, 2018); and a demand to empower all students despite individual differences such as gender, class and ethnicity. Few studies have addressed the question of how to overcome such difficulties.

This interdisciplinary project aims to examine the processes of teaching and learning for critical citizenship and to investigate how teaching can be designed to promote this goal. Departing from the importance of social and political trust, this project will use participatory action research and educational design research (van den Akker, 2013) to examine and develop teaching in collaboration with teachers at two schools. The three year project will engage students in an enquiry focusing on social and political trust. Data composed of surveys, focus group interviews, classroom observations, students’ materials and logs will be collected throughout the process.