Edinburgh Research Explorer

Pupils as citizens: pupil views on school citizenship and the transition from primary to secondary school.

Project: Funded ProjectResearch

Total award£45,000.00
Funding organisationUK-based charities
Funder project referencegcf - 251
Project websitehttp://www.ed.ac.uk/education/rke/centres-groups/creid/projects/gordoncook-pupils-citizens


Civic competence on transition is under-researched compared to a more general attention to transition, which focuses on the areas of achievement and attainment, social adjustment, at-risk status, and ethnicity (McGee et al., 2004). In those other areas, there is strong evidence of transition effects (e.g. Hattie, 2008, West et al., 2010). Several authors have highlighted the need for an examination of transition and civic competence but meagre work has been undertaken (Cross et al., 2009, Deuchar, 2009, HMIE, 2006, Zeedyk et al., 2003).

The present 2-year project plans to administer a major cross-sectional survey of Scottish school pupils on either side of primary-secondary transition, with related focus group investigations. It is anticipated that approximately 750 young people will complete the survey and over 100 pupils will take part in focus group discussions.

This study draws on previous Gordon Cook Foundation work by the same researchers that explored this citizenship/transition context from Scottish teachers’ perspectives and which offered clear direction for a pupil investigation (http://edin.ac/1fvyeFD).
Project aim

The prime purpose of this project is to explore the ways in which pupil participation and voice is facilitated across the primary/secondary school transition from the point of children and young people. It aims:

• To investigate what is authentic and meaningful participation (voice, leadership, responsibility), from the point of view of pupils
• To compare and contrast pupil’s views on participatory opportunities on either side of primary-secondary transition
• To identify to what extent children view themselves as participatory citizens of their respective primary and secondary school communities