Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Preparing Youth for Citizenship and Democracy: Young Bahrainis' Civic and Political Knowledge and Understanding

By Fatima Hasan Eid


Preparation of young people for effective citizenship has been a major concern in Bahrain since the transition towards democracy in 2001, and the movement towards reform in most aspects of life. To expedite the process of development and reform, education, training and youth issues are receiving growing attention in Bahrain. On a path of educational reform, Bahrain seeks to improve the quality of life for Bahraini citizens and increase their chances for prosperity, and, thus, citizenship education has been identified as a key initiative, which involves a clear commitment to help students acquire the skills, values, and knowledge necessary to enable them to become active citizens.\ud The present study examines whether young people graduating from secondary school in Bahrain are equipped with the civic and political knowledge and understanding necessary to participate effectively as citizens in a democracy. This is done by looking at three domains: citizenship, community and identity; rights, responsibilities and law; and democracy, political literacy and government. These categories comprise the conceptual framework of this study, support the development of the research hypotheses, and serve as guidelines for the drafting of the research instruments; a questionnaire and a semi-structured interview schedule. In this mixed methods approach, a questionnaire was administered to 460 final year secondary school students. This was followed by in-depth interviews with a stratified sample of 22 young people who had participated in the questionnaire survey.\ud The research provides valuable insights into the civic and political knowledge and understanding of Bahraini secondary school students and sheds light on the problems encountered by these young people as they engage in the process of learning about citizenship and democracy. The findings reveals a noticeable understanding of the conceptions of citizenship and shows that young citizens have sufficient understanding of their rights and responsibilities; some knowledge of democracy, but little understanding of politics and government. Furthermore, they are aware of issues affecting their community, but they are less involved in community associations or activities.\ud The study recommends a national strategy to improve the teaching of citizenship education in Bahrain, in formal and informal contexts. This needs to match and respond to the views, perceptions, and experiences of young people in order to encourage and enable them to become useful, active and responsible members of Bahraini society

Publisher: University of Leicester
Year: 2007
OAI identifier:

Suggested articles


  1. (2000b) `The Crick report: difference, equality and racial justice'.
  2. (2003b) `Demokratie-lernen in weltburgerlicher perspektive'.
  3. (2003). A disconnected generation: encouraging young people's political participation'.
  4. (2000). A measure of changing health"
  5. (2004). A report about Bahrain. London: REDRESS. Available on-line at http: //www.
  6. (2000). A Review of Pupil Democracy in Europe. London: Children's Rights Alliance.
  7. (2002). A Teacher's Guide to Classroom Research, 3rd edn.
  8. (2006). Adolescents and reading the mass media'.
  9. (2001). Adolescents' Problems and School Counselling. Bahrain:
  10. (2004). Advancing the Civic Mission of Schools. USA: The Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools, AED. Available online at: http: //www. civicmissionofschools. org (accessed 12
  11. (1997). After
  12. (1992). Al Sora Aljanibia llmowaten Al Bahraini (A Profile of the Bahraini Citizen). Bahrain:
  13. (2007). Almasqatti Prevented from Attending a Seminar in Cairo'.
  14. (2006). Alshabeeba Youth Society Protest'. Alwasat, Sunday 26`h November,
  15. (1992). An Aristocracy of Everyone: The Politics of Education and the Future of America.
  16. (2002). An Opinion on the Constitutional Issue of Bahrain. Beirut: Dar Alkunooze Aladabia.
  17. (2003). Analyzing Quantitative Data.
  18. (2001). and Curriculum Authority
  19. (2001). Annual Report about Human Rights in Bahrain.
  20. (1998). Annual Report on Human Rights Education.
  21. (1999). Asian Children at Home and at School: An Ethnographic Study.
  22. (1996). Assessment of Educational Progress
  23. (1999). Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement
  24. (2001). Background for Community-Level Work on Positive Citizenship in Adolescence: Reviewing the Literature on Contributing Factors.
  25. (2007). Bahrain Looks to the Future with Education Reform.
  26. (1995). Bahrain National Bibliography. Bahrain: Fakhrawi Bookshop Printing
  27. (1976). Bahrain Political Development in a Modernizing Society.
  28. (2004). Bahrain Statistics: Progress for Children: A Report Card on Water and Sanitation. New York: United Nation's Children's Fund (UNICEF). Available online at: http: //www. unicef. org/infobycountry/bahrain_statistics. htm (accessed 10
  29. (2005). Bahrain's Sectarian Challenge.
  30. (1998). Basic Concepts and Core Competencies for Education for Democratic Citizenship. Strasbourg: Council of Europe research project.
  31. (2001). Beaking through the glass ceiling. * women in management.
  32. (1998). Becoming Political: Comparative Perspectives on Citizenship Education.
  33. (1993). Blood and Belonging: Journeys into the new nationalism.
  34. (2002). Building Citizenship Skills in Students.
  35. (1994). Building Community in Schools.
  36. (2002). Can we overcome the methodological schism? Four models for combining qualitative and quantitative evidence'.
  37. (2004). Centre for Human Rights
  38. (2007). Centre for Human Rights (2006) Human Rights in Bahrain: Annual Report. Bahrain: Bahrain Centre for Human Rights Press. Available on-line at: http: //www. bahrainrights. org/ (accessed 7
  39. (2002). Challenges for citizenship education in the new Europe, editorial', special edition.
  40. (2000). Challenging Democracy:
  41. (1998). Children as Citizens: Education for Participation (Children in Charge).
  42. (1996). Cities without Citizens: Modernity of the City as a Corporation.
  43. (2002). Citizen Politics: Public Opinion and Political Parties
  44. (2003). Citizenship and Democracy in Schools: Diversity,
  45. (2001). Citizenship and Education at Age 14: a Summary of the International Findings and Preliminary Results for England.
  46. (1999). Citizenship and Identity.
  47. (2007). Citizenship and Learning.
  48. (1950). Citizenship and Social Class. Cambridge:
  49. (2002). Citizenship and the Challenge of Global Education.
  50. (2004). Citizenship and Youth. Bahrain:
  51. (2003). Citizenship as a learning process: disciplinary citizenship versus cultural citizenship'.
  52. (2001). Citizenship Education and Human Rights Education: Developments and Resources in the UK. Manchester: The British Council.
  53. (2000). Citizenship Education and Human Rights Education: Key Concepts and Debates. Manchester: The British Council.
  54. (2005). Citizenship education and post-16 students: a Habermasian perspective'.
  55. (2004). Citizenship Education in 10 US. High Schools.
  56. (2002). Citizenship education in Bahrain'.
  57. (2000). Citizenship education in England: the crick report and beyond'.
  58. (1996). Citizenship Education in Primary Schools. London: Institute for Citizenship Studies.
  59. (2002). Citizenship education in the curriculum: the practical side'.
  60. (2001). Citizenship education in UK'.
  61. (2003). Citizenship Education Longitudinal Study: First Cross-Sectional Survey 2001-2002.
  62. (2004). Citizenship Education Longitudinal Study. Literature Review - Citizenship Education One Year On - What Does it Mean?: Emerging Definitions and Approaches
  63. (2001). Citizenship Education or Crowd Control? The Crick Report and the Role of Peace Education and Conflict Resolution in the New Citizenship Curriculum.
  64. (2000). Citizenship education: anti-political culture and political education in Britain'.
  65. (2006). Citizenship Education: Current State of Play and recommendations Memorandum of Submission to the Education Select Committee. London: Citizenship Foundation. Available on-line at: http: //www. citizenshipfoundation. org. uk/main/page. php (accessed
  66. (2000). Citizenship for the 21 S' Century: an International Perspective on Education.
  67. (1990). Citizenship for the 215 Century. USA: Education Resources Information Centre.
  68. (1991). Citizenship in secondary schools: the national picture'.
  69. (1992). Citizenship in the Western Tradition. Chapel Hill and London:
  70. (2001). Citizenship through Secondary History.
  71. (1990). Citizenship: The Civic Ideal in World History, Politics and Education.
  72. (1997). Citizenship. feminist perspectives.
  73. (2005). Civic competencies and students with disabilities'.
  74. (2003). Civic education and political participation'.
  75. (1998). Civic Education: What Makes Students Learn. New Haven and London:
  76. (2001). Civic knowledge and engagement at age 14 in 28 Countries: Results from the IEA civic education study. Netherlands: International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement.
  77. (2004). Civic Participation in Contemporary Consumer Culture: Roles of Media, Personality, and Generational Differences.
  78. (1986). Civic values learned in school: policy and practice in industrialized nations'.
  79. (2001). Collins Cobuild English Dictionary for Advanced Learners, 3rd edn.
  80. (2003). Commission of the States
  81. (2002). Committee on the Rights of the Child
  82. (2000). Comparison of anonymous student ballots with student debriefing for faculty evaluations'.
  83. (2000). Conducting Democratic Class Meetings: School Violence and Conflict Programs.
  84. (2002). Constitution of the Kingdom of Bahrain. Bahrain: Ministry of Cabinet Affairs and Information
  85. (1989). Convention on the Rights of the Child
  86. (1996). Curriculum and Assessment Authority
  87. (1990). Curriculum Council
  88. (1948). Declaration of Human Rights
  89. (2000). Democracy and Education, Schools and Communities Initiative: Conceptual Framework and Preliminary Findings.
  90. (2000). Democracy and schools: educating for citizenship'.
  91. (2002). Democracy and teacher education: negotiating practice in the Gambia'.
  92. (2007). Democracy. Available on-line at: http: //en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Democracy (accessed
  93. (2006). Democratic Citizenship and the European Union.
  94. (2002). Democratic Citizenship, Languages, Diversity and Human Rights. Strasbourg: Council of Europe.
  95. (1996). Democratic citizenship'. In
  96. (2004). Design research: theoretical and methodological issues'.
  97. (2000). Developing a Questionnaire.
  98. (2002). Developing an International Framework for Education in Democracy. USA: Education Resources Information Centre.
  99. (2003). Developing Behavioural Values in Primary School Students: Principals' and Teachers' Perceptions. Bahrain:
  100. (2006). Developing Citizens: A Comprehensive Introduction to Effective Citizenship Education in the Secondary School.
  101. (2006). Developing Citizenship Competencies from Kindergarten through Grade 12: A Background Paper for Policymakers and Educators.
  102. (2006). Developing Indicators and Measures of Civic Outcomes for Elementary School Students, working paper 47.
  103. (2000). Development Education and Human Rights Education in Britain and Ireland: Present and Future Challenges - Final Report. Ireland: Educating and Acting for a Better World,
  104. (2001). Development of Education in Bahrain'. A national report submitted to The 46'" Session
  105. (2002). Development Report
  106. (2000). Direct Democracy: Government of the People, by the People, for the People.
  107. (2003). Discrimination in the Kingdom Of Bahrain: The Unwritten Law. A paper Presented to
  108. (2004). Diversity and Citizenship Education. Global Perspectives.
  109. (1991). Do you consider yourself a citizen of Bahrain? Do you feel you belong to Bahrain? Why? Why not? Raqia: Yes, I am Bahraini and I am proud of it. I was born on this land and I live in Abdulatif, H.
  110. (2000). Does cosmopolitan thinking have a future? '
  111. (2004). Doing Educational Research.
  112. (2005). Doing Qualitative Research.
  113. (2004). Doing Research in the Real World.
  114. (1999). Doing Your Research Project, 3rd edn.
  115. (1997). Eastern Values; Western Milieu: Identities and Aspirations of Adolescent British Muslim Girls.
  116. (2000). Educating children as citizens'. Governors' Agenda.
  117. Education (2004a) `Development of Education in Bahrain'. A national report submitted to The 47`" Session
  118. Education (2004b) Citizenship Education Syllabus Scheme. Official document, Bahrain: Directorate of Curricula, Ministry
  119. (1998). Education for Citizenship and the Teaching of Democracy in Schools: Final Report of the Advisory Group for Citizenship. Crick Report.
  120. (1992). Education for Citizenship in a Multicultural Society.
  121. (1996). Education for democratic citizenship'. Unpublished paper. In
  122. (1995). Education for Life: The Cross-Curricular Themes in Primary and Secondary Schools.
  123. (2007). Education Reform in Kingdom of Bahrain. Available on-line at: 19
  124. (2005). Educational Research Association
  125. (2000). Educational Research: Contemporary Issues and Practical Approaches.
  126. (1996). Educational Research. An Introduction, 6th edn.
  127. (2003). Effective Citizenship Values in the Content of Social Studies Textbooks in Bahrain Schools: Analytical Study. Unpublished MA thesis,
  128. (2006). Elections and political reform'. Bahrain Brief, December, v7, n12. Bahrain: Gulf Centre for Strategic Studies. Available online at: http: //www.
  129. (2007). Embassy of the Kingdom of Bahrain. Available on-line at: http: //www.
  130. (1990). Encouraging Citizenship: Report on the Commission on Citizenship.
  131. (2001). Enrolments in high school government classes: Are we short-changing both citizenship and political science teaching? '
  132. (2000). Essays on Citizenship.
  133. (2002). Ethical issues for qualitative research in on-line communities'.
  134. (2001). Evaluation of the medical curriculum: why, when, by whom and for whom should questionnaires be used'.
  135. (2006). Freedom's children: a gender perspective on the education of the learner-citizen'.
  136. (2004). From the Crick report to the Parekh report: multiculturalism, cultural difference, and democracy-the re-visioning of citizenship education'.
  137. (2006). Give Us Our Rights'. One World One Voice,
  138. (1996). Handbook of Qualitative Research Methods.
  139. (2007). Help! My Teenager is an Alien.
  140. (1998). High Commissioner for Human Rights
  141. (2007). History Teaching.
  142. (2001). How to Research, 2nd edn.
  143. (2000). Human Rights Education Handbook.
  144. (1999). Human Rights Here and Now: Celebrating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
  145. (2007). Human Rights, and Labour
  146. (1998). Human Rights: New Dimensions and Challenges.
  147. (2002). Improving Civic Education in Schools. USA: Education Resources Information Centre.
  148. (2001). Introducing Citizenship: A Handbook for Primary Schools.
  149. (1999). Introduction to Classroom Observation, 2nd edn.
  150. (2000). Introduction to Research Methods. 4th edn.
  151. (1998). Introduction to social research: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches.
  152. (1998). Introduction: the evolving tradition of citizenship'.
  153. (1995). Ironic of distance: an ongoing critique of the geographies of AIDS'.
  154. (2001). K-12 Service-Learning: A Strategy for Rural Community Renewal and Revitalization.
  155. (2007). Language Testing and Assessment. London &
  156. (2006). Law, Society, and Democracy: Comparative Perspectives.
  157. (2003). Learning for cosmopolitan citizenship: theoretical debates and young people's experiences'.
  158. (1995). Liberal Virtues and the Formation of Civic Character: Sources of Competence, Character, and Citizenship in American Society'.
  159. (2006). Making Sense of Citizenship. UK: The Citizenship Foundation.
  160. (1996). Making Sense of Qualitative Data.
  161. (2003). Manual or electronic? the role of coding in qualitative data analysis'.
  162. (2006). Measuring Dependency of Two Variables from Categorized Data. -Chi-square Test for Relationship.
  163. (2003). Millennium Development Goals: A compact among nations to end human poverty. United Nations Development Programme,
  164. (2006). Moral education and character education: their relationship and roles in citizenship education'.
  165. (2001). Multicultural Education: Issues and Perspectives, 4th edn.
  166. (2004). National and post-national dimensions of citizenship education in the UK'.
  167. (1998). National case studies of citizenship education'.
  168. (1994). National Standards for Civics and Government. California: Centre for Civic Education.
  169. (1992). Nationalism: Five Roads to Modernity.
  170. (2001). Navigational issues in the design of online self-administered questionnaires'.
  171. (1990). Outline of a theory of citizenship'.
  172. (2004). Political involvement among young women: a qualitative analysis'.
  173. (2001). Political knowledge, political engagement and civic education'.
  174. (2002). Political reform and open government'.
  175. (1998). Political Socialization and Education'. The Complete Educational Encyclopaedia CD-ROM.
  176. (2001). Politics in the Vernacular: Nationalism, Multiculturalism and Citizenship.
  177. (2000). Politics, Education and Citizenship.
  178. (1994). Preparing for Citizenship: Teaching Youth to Live Democratically.
  179. (2003). Preparing young Australians for an uncertain future: new thinking about citizenship education'.
  180. (2007). Problems at top but still there is ignorance'.
  181. (2005). Qualitative Interviewing: The Art of Hearing Data, 2nd edn.
  182. (2003). Qualitative Research for Education. An Introduction to Theory and
  183. (2005). Qualitative Research Methods for Psychologists: Introduction through Empirical Studies.
  184. (1996). Qualitative Researching.
  185. (2001). Quantitative Data Analysis with SPSS Release 10 for Windows.
  186. (2001). Quantitative Methods in Educational Research: The Role of Numbers Made Easy.
  187. (2000). Quantitative Research Design.
  188. (2001). Race Matters.
  189. (2005). Race, ethnicity and education under new labour'.
  190. (2002). Redefining citizenship education: common parallels and challenges'. The School Field, vXIII,
  191. (2003). Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches. Thousand Oaks,
  192. (2000). Research Training for Social Scientists.
  193. (1995). Return of the citizen: a survey of recent work on citizenship theory'.
  194. (2006). Review Group (2001) Education for citizenship in Scotland: A Paper for Discussion and Development. Scotland: Learning and Teaching Scotland Review Group. Available online at: http: //www. ltscotland. org. uk/citizenship/planning/paper (accessed 24
  195. (2006). Rights and Responsibilities: Get Stuck In'. One World One Voice,
  196. (2000). Rights Revolution. Canada: Canadian Museum of Civilization and Baren and Noble Publishers.
  197. (1999). Rights, identities and inclusion: European action programmes as political education'.
  198. (1997). Routine Abuse, Routine Denial: Civil Rights and the Political Crisis in Bahrain. New York: Human Right Watch. Available on-line at: http: //www. hrw. org/reports/l997/bahrain/ (accessed 17
  199. (2006). Scholarship Distribution Scheme. Bahrain: Directorate of Scholarships.
  200. (2000). Schools and Community: The Communitarian Agenda in Education. London:
  201. (1997). Schools as Communities. USA: Education Resources Information Centre.
  202. (2000). Seven Years in the Lives of British Families: Evidence on the dynamics of social change from the British Household Panel Survey Bristol:
  203. (1995). Shared decision-making by itself doesn't make for better decisions'. The Harvard Education Letter,
  204. (1998). Socialization Psychology. Aman: Dar Almaseera Publication.
  205. (2003). Socializing Youth for Citizenship, working paper 03.
  206. (2007). Stopping Youth Parliament from Existence: Government Unseriousness for Development'.
  207. (2000). Strategies of causal inference in small-n analysis'.
  208. (2001). Successful Writing for Qualitative Researchers.
  209. (2003). Teach us something useful: contested spaces of teenagers' citizenship'.
  210. (1996). Teacher Education and Human rights.
  211. (2005). Teachers' perceptions of citizenship in England'.
  212. (1985). Teaching and Learning of Human Rights in Schools, Recommendation No.
  213. (2003). Teaching Democracy Globally, Internationally, and Comparatively: The 21st Century Civic Mission of Schools.
  214. (2003). Teaching democracy: Unity and diversity in public life.
  215. (1993). Teaching Human Rights: A Teaching Guide for Middle and High School Educators, Ringbound edition.
  216. (2002). Teaching the `heart and soul' of citizenship: Service-learning as citizenship education.
  217. (1991). Teaching the Responsibilities of Citizenship. USA: Education Resources Information Centre.
  218. (2000). Teaching Values and Citizenship across the Curriculum.
  219. (1992). Tensions in the citizenship ideal'. In
  220. (1996). The Age of Rights. Translated by Allan Cameron,
  221. (2003). The Ambiguous Meaning of Citizenship.
  222. (2004). The British Educational Research Association and the future of educational research'.
  223. (2007). The Civic Achievement Gap, working paper 51.
  224. (2002). The Civic and Political Health of the Nation: A Generational Portrait.
  225. (1988). The Civic Imperative.
  226. (2003). The Civic Mission of Schools.
  227. (1999). The Concept of Citizenship in Education for Democracy. USA: Education Resources Information Centre.
  228. (1992). The Core Ideas of CIVITAS. " A Framework for Civic Education. USA: Education Resources Information Centre.
  229. (1985). The development of adult education: aspects and trends'.
  230. (2000). The End of Politics.
  231. (1994). The Foundations of Citizenship.
  232. (2000). The Future of Multiethnic Britain.
  233. (1997). The Globalization of World Politics.
  234. (2003). The Importance of Promoting Civic Education. California: The Centre for Civic education.
  235. (1998). The Inclusion of the Other: Studies in Political Theory.
  236. (1998). The lives and values of researchers: implications for educating citizens in a multicultural society'.
  237. (2006). The Minister of education endorses the high schools results'.
  238. (2007). The mix of qualitative and quantitative research in major marketing journals, 1993-2002'.
  239. (2000). The National Action Charter for the State of Bahrain. Bahrain: Ministry of Cabinet Affairs and Information
  240. (1985). The Power of the Powerless: Citizens against the State in Centraleastern Europe.
  241. (1999). The presuppositions of citizenship education'.
  242. (2005). The re-emergence of character education in British education policy'.
  243. (2004). The Research Interview.
  244. (2001). The Role of School Curriculum in Instilling National Affiliation and Citizenship. Bahrain:
  245. (2004). The scope for qualitative methods in research and clinical trials in Dementia'. Age and Ageing;
  246. (1975). The Sex Discrimination Act (SDA,
  247. (1993). The Wrath of Nations: Civilization and the Furies of Nationalism.
  248. (2000). Tomorrow's Citizens: Critical Debates in Citizenship and Education.
  249. (2004). Tool for Quality Assurance of EDC in Schools. Centre for Educational Studies.
  250. (1997). Understanding Children's Rights. Ghent: Children's Rights Centre.
  251. (2002). Understanding, Designing and Conducting Qualitative Research in Education. Buckingham:
  252. (2004). UNESCO specialists and ministry of education projects'.
  253. v3, n7. Bahrain: Gulf Centre for Strategic Studies. Available online at: http: //www.
  254. (2003). Violent research: the ethics and emotions of doing research with women in South Africa'. Ethics, Place and Environment,
  255. (1996). What Americans Know About Politics and Why It Matters.
  256. (1999). What Is Citizenship?
  257. (2005). What King Hamad Says to Bahraini Journalists Society'.
  258. (2001). Will They Engage? Political Knowledge, Participation and Attitudes of Generations X and Y.
  259. (2006). Women's Rights in the Middle East and North Africa: Citizenship and
  260. (1993). World plan of action on education for human rights and democracy', adopted by The International Congress on Education for Human Rights and Democracy,
  261. (2003). Young people talk about citizenship: empirical perspectives on theoretical and political debates'.
  262. (2000). Young People's Life-Skills and the Future. Scotland: The Scottish Council for Research

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.