Critical-democratic citizenship in Dutch tertiary vocational education: analyzing opportunities for growth

Manja Coopmans*, Ineke Van der Veen, Remmert Daas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Previous studies suggest that secondary school students in vocational tracks receive fewer opportunities to practice with critical-democratic citizenship than students in academic tracks. Less is known about the role of critical-democratic citizenship education in tertiary vocational education and training (VET). Utilizing questionnaire data collected in 2021 amongst 350 Dutch VET students, a structural equation model was constructed in which we conjointly studied to what extent differences in students’ attitudes towards societal awareness and sound opinion forming are associated with 1) students’ experiences regarding the curriculum content, 2) openness of the classroom climate for discussion, 3) autonomy and structure provided by the teacher and 4) intrinsic value of the experienced citizenship education. This latter element was found to be especially relevant, as it was associated with both societal awareness and sound opinion forming, whereas classroom climate played only a minor role. Students’ societal awareness was also associated with both the experienced curriculum content and the autonomy and structure offered by the teacher. These results offer important practical implications to further improve opportunities for critical-democratic citizenship in VET.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)152-171
Number of pages20
JournalCitizenship, Social and Economics Education
Volume22
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2024

Keywords

  • citizenship education
  • critical-democratic citizenship attitudes
  • experienced curriculum
  • intrinsic motivation
  • tertiary vocational education and training (VET)

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