Knowledge rocks! But ”science” might be perceived as negative by young people. This is shown in an extensive study of the attitudes of children and teenagers to knowledge, research and researchers conducted by VA in 2007.
The study consists of analysis of data collected from VA’s annual attitude surveys 2002–2007 (2007:4), in-depth interviews with children age 10–12 and teenagers 16–17 (2007:5), a preliminary study of how researchers are depicted in media targeting young people (2007:6), an analysis of evaluations of activities to stimulate interest among young people in science and technology (2007:7), and an integrated, broad overview of literature. (All of these reports only available in Swedish.)
All aspects of the study are summarised in english in: Knowledge Rocks! Summary of a youth study by VA
Children’s drawings depicting scientists can give substantial information about their attitudes towards research as well as what they believe research is and what it is like working as a researcher. In connection with the Swedish Researchers’ Night in 2007, a drawing contest was arranged. The task was to draw oneself as a researcher. 3,000 children aged 6-12 years participated and a selection of their entries was analysed afterwards. The results of the analysis are presented in the report: Myself as a researcher – an analysis of children’s images of scientists
In 2002 VA assigned Bi Puranen, Professor of Futures Studies and Communication Strategies, to study of young people’s views of research and knowledge. The study was carried out with the help of panels. In all studies and activities, VA’s aim has been for all of the studies and activities to capture the perspective of young people. A number of groups that have an influence on young people’s attitudes have also been studied. The report (2002:4) is only available in Swedish.