Never too young to learn democracy!: a case study of a democratic approach to learning in a Religious and Moral Education (RME) secondary class in the West of Scotland

Henry Maitles, Isabel Gilchrist

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Whilst it is acknowledged that there is a case for giving pupils a say in what affects them most - the content and methodology of what and how they learn, such practice is not widespread. This paper discusses the rationale behind giving pupils a genuine say in determining their methods of learning and suggests how this approach is entirely within the spirit of policy on education for citizenship. It describes the attempt to do so in a Religious and Moral Education class in a West of Scotland comprehensive. It reports on how the class organized itself and the decisions the pupils took and evaluates the effectiveness, in terms of promoting positive attitudes, of this method of determining learning. The methodology involves comparing between pupils at the same stage studying in this way and those not. Finally, the paper examines pupil evaluations and reflection on this method of involving pupils.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-85
Number of pages18
JournalEducational Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • educational research
  • religious education
  • moral education

Cite this