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Research projects

Institutional Settings and Civic Education: A Comparative Study of Different Types of Public and Private Schools

About this project

Project information

Project status



Tomas Englund

Research subject

Since the 1990s, the Swedish school system has become increasingly more diversified. Decentralisation, the introduction of private schools, the challenge of globalisation and increased ethnic heterogeneity among pupils have all contributed to an increasingly heterogeneous school system. This project analyses the prospects for civic education in different institutional settings and contexts, in both public and private schools. Drawing on the International Civic and Citizenship Education Study (ICCS), conducted by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA), we ask which effects different institutional settings have on "citizen competences", i.e. civic engagement, political efficacy, knowledge about democracy and political issues, and democratic values and tolerance. The project breaks down into three distinct but interrelated parts. The first sub-project deals with changes over time in young Swedes? civic competences. We have access to unique survey and aggregated data, covering the period 1999-2009. The second sub-project focuses on the way controversial issues are taught in different schools and institutional settings. In particular, differences relating to tolerance and moral issues are highlighted. The third sub-project adds a comparative perspective by analysing similarities and differences among young people and schools in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and England.


Research funding bodies

  • Swedish Research Council