Diversity and Citizenship Education: Global Perspectives

By James A. Banks | Go to book overview

PART ONE
CROSSCUTTING ISSUES
AND CONCEPTS

PART I DESCRIBES the issues, concepts, and trends related to citizenship education in culturally diverse nation-states. Banks, in the Introduction, describes the meaning of citizenship in diverse and democratic nation-states, the multiple views of citizenship, and the global dimensions of citizenship education. Citizenship is a fluid, complex, dynamic, and contested concept in the nation-states discussed in this book. Banks believes that citizenship education programs should help students develop thoughtful and reflective cultural, national, and global identifications and attachments. This is a difficult task because nationalism and globalization, which are contradictory trends, are both intensifying. Citizenship education faces a dilemma in nationstates worldwide because the lessons taught in school about democratic values are contradicted by societal practices such as institutional racism and inequality. Despite the worldwide challenges it faces, Banks maintains that citizenship education should help students acquire democratic values within an educational context that respects and reflects their community cultures, languages, hopes, and dreams. Only in this way can marginalized ethnic, cultural, and language groups acquire thoughtful commitments to the overarching values and goals of the nation-state.

Castles, in Chapter 1, describes the ways in which nationstates are being challenged by globalization, increasing international migration, and the growth of transnational communities. People today are crisscrossing national borders, belong to multiple places, and have multiple identities. “The boundaries

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