본 연구는 학생자치법정이 고등학생들의 민주시민의식에 미치는 영향을 경상남도 김해시소재 고등학교를 사례로 살펴보았다. 본 연구를 위해 학생자치법정을 활용하는 학교와 그렇지 않은 학교로 구분하여, 학생자치법정 시행 학교의 학생 100명, 학생자치법정 미시행 학교의 학생 100명, 총 200명을 대상으로 학생자치법정 시행 전후로 구분하여 민주시민 의식을 조사하였다. 민주시민 의식을 인간의 존엄성, 합리적 의사결정, 사회참여 행동, 준법정신의 4개의 영역으로 나누어 살펴보았는데, 연구 결과 학생자법정은 이들 4개의 영역에 모두 긍정적인 영향을 끼친다는 것을 알 수 있었다. 본 연구는 민주시민 의식의 구성요소를 인간의 존엄성, 합리적 의사결정, 사회참여 행동, 준법정신으로 제시하고 있으나, 민주시민 의식의 구성요소를 다른 준거로 선정하였을 경우에는 결과가 다를 수 있으며, 두 집단은 학생자치법정 시행 여부를 두고 차이가 있으며 그 외의 가정 기타 환경요소는 학생들의 민주시민 의식에 거의 영향을 미치지 않는다고 본다는 점에서 연구의 한계를 갖는다. 이러한 연구의 제한점은 후속 연구를 통하여 보완될 필요가 있다고 본다. 그럼에도 불구하고, 본 연구를 통해 민주시민 의식의 함양에 학생자치 법정의 긍정적 결과는 의미 있다고 할 것이다.
The purpose of this study is to verify the effect of teen courts on enhancing democratic citizenship of high school students. The research subjects of this study consist of two main groups. The first group consists of first-year students from a K academic high school in Gimhae which has a teen court program actively participated by its students. The second group consists of first-year students from a K academic high school in the same city but with the absence of an active teen court program. This study utilized a survey method to verify hypotheses. The measuring components of democratic citizenship of each subject consist of human dignity, reasonable decision-making, social participation action, law-abiding spirit. Seven questions were assigned to each component. A total of 200 questionnaires were utilized for the survey (K high school: 100 sheets, S high school: 100 sheets) with SPSS 18.0 for Windows. This study tried to answer the question that "Do teen courts have an influence on improving high school students` democratic citizenship?" The following four hypotheses were formulated to answer the question: Hypothesis 1 : Students from the school with a teen court program respect other people`s liberty and equality and also recognize a human being as a reasonable being compared to those from the school without teen courts (Human dignity) Hypothesis 2: Students from the school with a teen court program make an effort to collect information when they are faced with problems and are more careful about decision making compared to those from the school without teen courts. (Reasonable decision-making) Hypothesis 3: Students from the school with a teen court program actively participate in solving their problems and actively express their opinions compared to those from the school without teen courts (Social participation action) Hypothesis 4: Students from the school with a teen court program endeavor to observe their own rules and agreements. (Law-abiding spirit) As a result of verification, analysis of the above hypotheses is as follows: First, teen courts have a positive influence on students` human dignity. It improves the students` awareness of human dignity by providing an opportunity of self-reflection and human right guarantee simultaneously, instead of a teacher`s one-sided instruction. Second, teen courts have a positive effect on students` reasonable decision-making. Teen courts are a part of an autonomic activity. The students attending and observing the teen court can enhance a democratic decision-making ability in the process of imposing a proper punishment through discussion. Third, teen courts do not have a meaningful effect on students` social participation action. This caused these students to feel intimidated and the court had no influence on their social participation action. Fourth, teen courts have a positive effect on students` law-abiding spirit. The members of teen court appeared to think that they have to become a good model since it is the students themselves who lead the court and such efforts strengthened their law-abiding spirit. In conclusion, teen courts have a multilateral influence on students` law-abiding spirit. The above results show many educational implications on the way of counseling in high schools as follows: First, the reason that there is no meaningful difference in social participation action mainly attributes to teen court nonmember`s burden regarding participation in the court. Second, the effect on teen courts is to be maximized for students who participate in teen courts many times. Schools, therefore, need to pay attention to teen court operations and encourage many students to actively participate in teen courts. Third, in order to increase the effectiveness of teen courts, it is necessary to reflect on the results of teen courts through student records. To settle teen courts as an education course, it is essential to secure authority, justification and compulsory measures. The result of this study can be a ground to evaluate the educational effect of teen courts in high school. A teen court program utilized as an educational course instead of a meaningless law education program can be a good solution to youth problems such as school violence. In conclusion, we need to expand the teen court systems in schools and continuous attention from student, parents and teacher is required for successful introduction of the system. In addition, follow-up studies to examine various factors have to be carried out to improve the system.