Mellan samhälle och individ-En undersökning i samhällskunskapsdidaktik om elevers förståelse av nyhetshändelser
Nyckelord:CITIZENSHIP EDUCATION, CURRENT EVENTS, SOCIETAL AND INDIVIDUAL PERSPECTIVES ON CURRENT EVENTS
This article is the result of a study in citizenship education didactics, conducted in a class at an elementary school (14-15 year old students) and with an aim to examine students’ understanding of current events. The ability to balance societal perspectives on one hand and individual perspectives on the other hand, while interpreting current events, is perceived as a central civic democratic ability and an important dimension in citizenship education such as samhällskunskap. The ability to understand current events has been considered to be an ability to put societal and individual perspectives on the causes, consequences and the responsibility on and for events. Students’ understanding has been studied using a survey and focusgroup interviews. In addition a limited change was made in the teacher's ‘coverage of weekly news’. The ambition was to tentatively test conditions in order to examine the learning effects of news coverage in a more rigorous way in future studies. The result shows that the students mainly have an individual-based understanding when it comes to the cause of events, and a socially-based understanding when it comes to the responsibility to solve problems of events. One conclusion is that students often lack a more complex societal understanding. An important point is however that students understanding seldom exceeds the information provided by the media about an event. Here, teaching has an important role to play. Another point is that students’ understanding of current events is a difficult phenomenon to examine. In addition to the the news content itself, the understanding expressed by the students can be affected by several factors such as data collection method, critical political events in the outside world and the design of the activity‘coverage of weekly news’. We need further studies in order to express valid statements about influential factors for learning during the acitivity ‘coverage of weekly news’.