Garcia-Cabrero, B., et al., 2017. Civics and Citizenship: Theoretical Models and Experiences in Latin America, Sense Publishers. Publisher's VersionAbstract
    The book is organized around four sections. The first section is an introduction to the problem of defining the scope and foundations of the development of moral personality and social engagement, in particular,  the development of civic and ethical attitudes and prosocial behavior.
    The second section presents a comparative analysis of education policies in Mexico, Chile and Colombia, in particular the way the curricula of civic and citizenship education is designed and implemented. The section also describes and analyzes the way this subject is taught in the classrooms of the primary, secondary and high school levels in the three countries.
    The third section includes the results of research projects in Civics and Citizenship Education conducted with different theoretical and methodological models of analysis.
    This last section includes some of the best practices of Civic Education that have been developed in Mexico, Colombia, and Chile.
    Diazgranados, S., Selman, R. & Dionne, M., 2016. Acts of Social Perspective Taking: A Functional Construct and the Validation of a Performance Measure for Early Adolescents. Social Development , 25 (3) , pp. 572-601. Publisher's VersionAbstract

    To understand and assess how early adolescents use their social perspective taking (SPT) skills in their consideration of social problems, we conducted two studies. In study 1, we administered a hypothetical SPT scenario to 359 fourth to eighth graders. Modeled on the linguistic pragmatics of speech acts, we used grounded theory to develop a functional approach that identified three types of SPT acts: (1) the acknowledgment of different actors, (2) the articulation of their thoughts and feelings, and (3) the positioning of the roles, experiences, or circumstances that influence how they resolve problems. Study 2 tested the validity of an expanded instrument, the Social Perspective Taking Acts Measure, with 459 fourth to eighth graders. We confirmed the structure of the construct with a fully saturated confirmatory factor analysis, with factor loadings in the range of .62 and .71, and a factor determinacy of .90. We obtained evidence of criterion-related validity by successfully predicting that girls and older participants would exhibit better performance than boys and younger students, and that SPT would exhibit a negative association with aggressive interpersonal strategies, a positive but moderate association with writing, and non-significant associations with academic language, complex reasoning, and reading skills.


    Diazgranados, S., Borisova, I. & Sarker, T., 2016. The Effects of Attending a PROTEEVA Preschool on the Literacy, Numeracy, Social Skills, and Health & Hygiene of Young Children in Bangladesh: Evidence from a Quasi-Experimental Study. Journal of Human Development and Capabilities , 17 (4) , pp. 494-515. Publisher's VersionAbstract

    This study aims to identify the effect of attending an enhanced-quality preschool program on students’ emergent math, emergent language and literacy, socio-personal skills and knowledge of health, hygiene, nutrition and safety. We used a quasi-experimental design with pre-post measures and two control groups, with data from a random sample of approximately 709 4–6-year-old children in 40 villages and 5 districts of Bangladesh. Controlling for demographic and baseline characteristics, we compared the outcomes of children who attended an enhanced-quality preschool with the outcomes of children who lived nearby, but were (1) not attending preschool or (2) attending a standard-quality government preschool. We found that, after controlling for baseline characteristics, initial pre-test differences that significantly favored children in enhanced-quality preschools over non-preschoolers significantly increased over time in all outcomes of interest. We did not find differences at baseline between children in the enhanced and the standard-quality preschools, but after the intervention, preschoolers in the enhanced program gained small and positive advantages over their counterparts, which were not statistically significant, possibly due to the sample size of the Government Public School group, which made us unable to detect effects sizes smaller than 0.25 standard deviations. We discuss implications, threats to validity and future research.

    Diazgranados, S. & Sandoval, A., 2015. Young People’s Attitudes toward Equal Rights for Ethnic/Racial Minorities and Immigrants: The Effect of Contact and Supportive School Environments in the European Union. In Tolerance for Education . European Union, pp. 75-110. Publisher's VersionAbstract

    We take advantage of data from the 2009 International Civic and Citizenship Education Study (ICCS) (IEA, 2009; Schultz, et. al, 2009) to investigate the attitudes that young people from different socio-economic backgrounds in 22 countries from the European Union (EU) have toward equal rights for all ethnic/racial minorities and immigrants. We then use the contact hypothesis (Allport, 1954) to explore whether contact is associated with more supportive attitudes toward equal rights, and examine openness to classroom discussion and supportive student-teacher relationships as characteristics that may be necessary for contact to promote tolerance and inclusive attitudes toward others in school settings. We find that in most EU countries, students from advantaged SES backgrounds exhibit more supportive attitudes toward equal rights for ethnic/racial minorities and immigrants than students from low SES backgrounds. We also find that contact does not have an effect on students’ attitudes toward equal rights at a regional level, but country-level results are mixed and varied. Consistently across all EU countries, openness to classroom discussion and student-teacher relationship have a positive and statistically significant relationship with students' attitudes toward equal rights for ethnic/racial minorities and immigrants.  We discuss implications for educators and policy-makers, limitations and future research.

    Diazgranados, S. & Noonan, J., 2015. The Relationship of Safe and Participatory Environments and Children’s Supportive Attitudes Toward Violence: Evidence from the Saber Test of Citizenship Competencies . Education, Citizenship, and Social Justice , 10 (1) , pp. 79-94. Publisher's VersionAbstract

    In Colombia, reducing levels of interpersonal and community violence is a key component of the country’s approach to citizenship education.  In this study, we use data collected during the 2005 Saber test of Citizenship Competencies to examine the relationship of school environments and individual students’ supportive attitudes toward violence among 97,971 students in 1,649 schools.  Using multi-level Tobit analysis with school random intercepts and regional fixed effects, we find that children taught in safe and participatory climates endorse attitudes less supportive of violence, with the effect of participatory climates almost double that of safe climates. Constructing a typology of four classroom environments, by crossing the two dimensions of safety and participation, we conclude that school environments that are safe and participatory lead to the least supportive attitudes toward violence, more than one standard deviation lower than unsafe and non-participatory school environments.  Implications, limitations and areas for future research are discussed.

    Diazgranados, S. & Selman, R.L., 2014. How Students' Perceptions of the School Climate Influence their Choice to Upstand, Bystand or Join Perpetrators of Bullying. Harvard Educational Review , 84 (2) , pp. 162-187.Abstract

    The authors of this article, Silvia Diazgranados Ferráns and Robert Selman, use an emergent framework to explore how the rules of the school culture at different perceived school climates affect early adolescents' decisions to upstand, bystand, or join the perpetrators when they witness peer aggression and bullying. Through a grounded theory approach, they revisit interview data with twenty-three eighth graders in four middle schools with the aim of building on previous research and refining their theoretical framework to guide future research on bullying. The authors identify four school-level indicators that are salient in students’ perceptions of their school climate: safety, order, care, and empowerment—and examine how these indicators combine to configure three types of perceived school climates: negligent, authoritarian, and cohesive. They explore how these perceived school climates influence students' choice of strategy when they witness bullying in school and document a set of student recommendations about what schools can do to promote safety and prevent bullying.

    Diazgranados, S., et al., 2014. Transformative peace education with teachers: Lessons from Juegos de Paz in rural Colombia. Journal of Peace Education. Publisher's VersionAbstract

    Effective peace education helps to create a transformation in the knowledge, skills, dispositions, and relationships of its students. Drawing on their experiences training teachers as part of Juegos de Paz, an education for peace program that received support from the Colombian National Program for Citizenship Competencies, the authors explore transformative peace education and identify four key lessons for practitioners. Data from focus groups, interviews, and personal reflections are used to illustrate these principles and lessons. Additionally, it is suggested that there may be some transferability of these principles across contexts, since the program studied was originally developed in North America for use in urban elementary schools and was successfully adapted for use in rural Colombia.

    Diazgranados, S., Selman, R. & Feigenberg, L., 2012. Rules of the Culture and Personal Needs: Witnesses' Decision-Making Processes to Deal with Situations of Bullying in Middle School. Harvard Educational Review , 84 (4) , pp. 445-470. Link to articleAbstract
    This article explores the decision-making processes by which early adolescents choose a strategy to upstand, bystand, or join the perpetrators when they witness situations of physical and relational bullying in their schools. Authors Silvia Diazgranados Ferráns, Robert L. Selman, and Luba Falk Feigenberg analyze data from twenty-three interviews conducted with eighth graders in four middle schools using a grounded theory approach and propose an emerging theoretical framework to guide future research on bullying. Their framework includes a multilevel model that identifies nested sources of influence on students’ responses to bullying and a decision-making tree that hypothesizes different choice paths that student witnesses’ decision-making processes might follow in situations of bullying as predicted by the students’ positions along a set of “key social-relational indices.” Finally, the authors connect their findings with current debates in the field of moral decision making and discuss the implications for researchers, practitioners, and policy makers.