The “Schools” POSTGEN Component

A dedicated “Schools” POSTGEN work package will feature interviews with students in secondary school. This WP aims at observing the initial attribution of content to political concepts and the definition of political meanings, through several studies in secondary schools.

The core of this WP will be the administration of a questionnaire through electronic devices, supplied by researchers to a whole class of students. The questionnaire will explore attitudes and values of pupils around their first voting experience, mapping their positions on salient issues and reconstructing any presence of ideological organization.

The study will cover approximately 20 secondary schools (including “licei”, technical and professional high schools), with more than one class involved (ideally three classes per school, either fourth or fifth year) for a total of approx. 60 classes and 1200 students. This will provide a wealth of information on attitudes, opinions, political and civic engagement of students not yet fully socialized to the democratic process.

The project will also explore the possibility of having an innovative questionnaire, deviating from a standard public opinion survey, by adopting communication registers common to youngsters. Framed in a gamified fashion, such potential development could provide students with feedback on aspects such as location in a political space, closeness to parties, candidates or ideologies.

Information will not be directive and only intended to help understand basic concepts of political debate. In addition, the project will take advantage of the opportunity for discussion of specific issues with students, with presentations and discussions before and after questionnaire administration. This will also offer the possibility to define a quasi-experimental setting.

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