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Education Research International
Volume 2012, Article ID 901513, 10 pages
Research Article

Moral Development and Citizenship Education in Vocational Schools

Department of Child Development and Education, University of Amsterdam, 1012 WX Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Received 27 February 2012; Accepted 13 May 2012

Academic Editor: Kirsi Tirri

Copyright © 2012 Hélène Leenders et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We investigate the objectives, practical application, and learning outcomes of moral education and citizenship education at three vocational schools in the Netherlands (VMBO). We explore teachers’ and students’ pedagogical, sociopolitical, and moral development objectives and how they deal with values, dialogue, and diversity. We continue with how the objectives get materialized in practice and teachers’ and students’ perceptions of the learning outcomes. The study shows that there is a strong agreement between teachers and students about the importance of objectives of moral education and citizenship education. Schools differ in how sharply they focus on social and political aspects, and in how reflective and dialogical their approaches are. The differences revealed in the moral education approaches can be largely linked with differences in their cultural environment.