Voter education The political education of Norwegian lower secondary schools Kjetil Børhaug

Utbildning & Demokrati
2005 unpublished
The educational system plays a role in the broader political socialisa-tion process. Even if this role is contingent, an important question remains as to how schools contribute to the integration of new generations in political life. This article aims at improving empirical knowledge about this contribution. In many Western countries such political education seems to focus on formal structure of institutions, constitutional frameworks, discussions of current issues and formal rights of
more » ... The Norwegian national curriculum outlines a different political education, focusing on critical analysis of the political system, encouragement of many forms of political participation , examination of policy-making processes and policy contents. To what extent are these purposes of a critical, activist citizenry implemented at the classroom level? This question is analysed using both qualitative and survey data. The analysis suggests that formalism does not dominate Norwegian political education. Political parties , elections, comparison of party programs are most commonly the key elements in a political education closely related to the citizen ideals of competitive elite democracy.