Changing Citizenship: Democracy and Inclusion in Education

Changing Citizenship: Democracy and Inclusion in Education

Changing Citizenship: Democracy and Inclusion in Education

Changing Citizenship: Democracy and Inclusion in Education

Synopsis

  • How can citizenship in schools meet the needs of learners in multicultural and globalized communities?
  • Can schools resolve the tensions between demands for effective discipline and pressures to be more inclusive?
Educators, politicians and the media are using the concept of citizenship in new contexts and giving it new meanings. Citizenship can serve to unite a diverse population, or to marginalise and exclude. With the introduction of citizenship in school curricula, there is an urgent need for developing the concept of cosmopolitan and inclusive citizenship.

Changing Citizenship supports educators in understanding the links between global change and the everyday realities of teachers and learners. It explores the role that schools can play in creating a new vision of citizenship for multicultural democracies.

Key reading for education researchers and students on PGCE, B. Ed and Masters courses in Education, as well as citizenship teachers and co-ordinators. Changing Citizenship is of interest to all concerned about social justice and young people's participation in decision-making.

Excerpt

Education has a critical role to play in enabling us to respond to the processes of globalization. It is important that people have the chance to understand the links between their own lives and those of others, both globally and locally. Across the world, in established democracies as well as in newly democratized states, there is renewed interest in education for citizenship and human rights. The challenge facing curriculum planners, school leaders and teachers is to provide young people with appropriate experiences which allow them to make sense of international politics and interdependence while at the same time enabling them to feel that they can make a difference and participate in shaping our common future.

Education in democratic states has always been, either explicitly or implicitly, about strengthening democracy. Education has been viewed as a way of preparing young people to understand the society in which they live, how it functions, and to contribute to it in various ways. In other words, it has long been about preparing the young for their future roles as citizens. The emphasis has been on preparation to exercise future democratic rights, including the right to vote, in a responsible manner. For those who were not expected to take up positions of responsibility or power, the school subject of 'civics' emphasized responsibilities and respect for those in power, and was designed to encourage a sense of uncritical patriotism. In contrast, the education of elites has laid considerable stress on preparing the young for their responsibilities as future leaders. Education for democratic citizenship is based on the premise that all can contribute to shaping society's future, starting in the present.

Citizenship is changing. There is growing consensus that education for national citizenship is an inadequate response to growing global interdependence and that it is becoming increasingly important that everyone is prepared to participate in an increasingly globalized world. The challenge is to enable citizens to participate at a time when many people feel powerless and we are uncertain how to shape the future agenda. This sense of powerlessness and helplessness is magnified by our increased awareness of inequalities and injustice across the world.

Changing Citizenship is a response to this educational challenge. Within the globalized and multicultural communities that characterize today's . . .

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