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ERIC Number: EJ804756
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Pages: 9
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 19
ISSN: ISSN-1365-4802
"Why Are They Bombing Innocent Iraqis?": Political Literacy among Primary Pupils
Maitles, Henry; Deuchar, Ross
Improving Schools, v7 n1 p97-105 2004
This article presents case studies of political literacy among primary pupils. While researching primary pupils' understanding of "enterprise", the researchers added interviews connecting this concept to the Iraq war. A sample of 10 non-representative Scottish primary schools from seven local education authorities has provided the setting for specific case studies. The schools are located within a range of inner-city, town and rural settings and with a variety of socio-economic backgrounds. In each case study class, pupils from either primary 6 or primary 7 were asked to draw an "enterprising person" and note the qualities of someone who is enterprising. Follow-up discussion groups allowed pupils to share their ideas, justify their choices and expand upon their perceptions of enterprising values. This use of informal discussions with pupils enabled the researchers to evaluate the extent to which children's perceptions of enterprise may reflect individualistic or communitarian values, and whether they are politically literate in relation to local and global affairs. Through their initial drawings, written comments and follow-up discussions, it was found that the main qualities that pupils associated with enterprise could be defined as the need to be brave, confident, prepared to take risks and the ability to be a good leader. They also felt it should encompass a certain degree of responsible and caring behaviour and values. The use of interactive sessions on international news issues provided a neat setting for these pupils to share their curiosity, interest and personal opinions and also for the teacher to address some particular misunderstandings. The "eyes closed" methodology ensured greater autonomy in expressing opinions.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Iraq; United Kingdom (Great Britain); United Kingdom (Scotland)