Hva slags medborger?

En undersøkelse av læreres forståelse av opplæring til demokrati og medborgerskap

  • Emil Sætra MF Specialized University
  • Janicke Heldal Stray MF Specialized University & NOVA/Oslo Metropolitan University
Keywords: democracy, citizenship, education, teaching, ICCS 2016


In this article, we explore teachers’ ideas about teaching for democratic citizenship. In short, we want to understand “what kind of citizen” teachers aim to educate. We ground our study in three ideal types that represent different ways of understanding what education for democratic citizenship education revolves around: politically informed citizenship (politisk informert medborgerskap), rational autonomous citizenship (rasjonelt autonomt medborgerskap), and socially intelligent citizenship (sosialt intelligent medborgerskap). A first finding is that teacher emphasize that students should acquire knowledge that they can make use of as democratic citizens. Teachers are preoccupied with making students politically informed. A second finding is, however, that teachers understand democratic citizenship education as something more than just knowledge acquisition. One purpose that holds high priority with the teachers is that students should learn how to think critically; to become rationally autonomous. The pedagogical implication of this view is that students should acquire knowledge, skills, and attitudes that helps realize this ambition. This interpretation of what democratic citizenship is moves beyond being able to make an informed choice between different alternatives or representatives. In the last part of the article education for democratic citizenship is discussed in light of the third category; the socially intelligent citizen. We find that while teachers put much emphasis on knowledge and critical thinking, there is little emphasis on participation in democratic practices. We thus conclude that teachers talk about schooling as a tool for democracy much more than they talk about democracy as an ideal or model for schooling.



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Author Biographies

Emil Sætra, MF Specialized University

Research Fellow, 

MF Norwegian School of Theology 

Janicke Heldal Stray, MF Specialized University & NOVA/Oslo Metropolitan University

Associate Professor, 

MF Specialized University & NOVA/Oslo Metropolitan University
How to Cite
Sætra, E., & Stray, J. (2019). Hva slags medborger?. Nordic Journal of Comparative and International Education (NJCIE), 3(1), 19-32. https://doi.org/10.7577/njcie.2441