Academic journal article Educational Technology & Society

Patterns of Inclusion: Fostering Digital Citizenship through Hybrid Education

Academic journal article Educational Technology & Society

Patterns of Inclusion: Fostering Digital Citizenship through Hybrid Education

Article excerpt

Introduction

This paper offers a reconsideration of the concept of digital citizenship especially focusing on the philosophical and normative underpinnings. Furthermore, the paper presents an introduction to the concepts of Hybrid Education and educational patterns that may serve as the practical and theory-based means to re-configure education in alignment with and framed by certain values and visions directly applicable for digital citizenship and education for digital citizenship. The paper documents a process of educational innovation conducted in collaboration between different educational researchers from around the world participating online and face-toface. The three authors of this paper all participated in this process.

Citizenship and education

Education is central to the process of creating citizens. In his seminal essay on citizenship--Citizenship and Social Class--Marshall (1950) stressed the importance of education both as a basic social right and an individual obligation in relation to the state. Marshall suggested a tri-partition of citizenship rights into civil, political and social rights as he saw them evolve and materialize in England during the eighteenth century (civil rights), nineteenth century (political rights) and the twentieth century (social rights). Citizenship is defined as "a status bestowed on those who are full members of a community. All who possess the status are equal with respect to the rights and the duties with which the status is endowed." (Marshall, 1950, p. 28). To become a full member of a community education was needed. Marshall saw education as a central social right and a right closely connected to citizen formation: "The education of children has a direct bearing on citizenship, and, when the State guarantees that all children shall be educated, it has the requirements and the nature of citizenship definitely in mind. It is trying to stimulate the growth of citizens in the making. The right to education is a genuine social right of citizenship, because the aim of education during childhood is to shape the future adult. Fundamentally it should be regarded, not as the right of the child to go to school, but as the right of the adult citizen to have been educated." (Marshall, 1950, p. 25). Education is thus essential in the establishment and endowment of the universal status of citizenship and the enjoyment of the rights connected to this status.

Marshall (1950) saw citizenship as an evolutionary concept that increased the equality at every step of its expansion which was why it came into conflict with the concept of social class exactly because of its egalitarian scope which Lipset (1964) saw as the most central tenet in Marshall's work. Consistent with his view of citizenship as an evolving concept reflecting the historical development and the expansion of rights and inclusion of different social groups, Banks (2008) argues for expanding Marshall's concept of citizenship to include cultural democracy and cultural citizenship given that virtually all liberal democracies are multinational or multiethnic. Given the ubiquitous and pervasive character of digital technologies in mediating communication, participation and forging of cultural identities (Johnson et al., 2014; Gillespie, 2010; Coleman, 2010) the expanded concept of citizenship should also include the aspect of digital citizenship defined as "representing capacity, belonging, and the potential for political and economic engagement in society in the information age" (Mossberger et al., 2008, p. 2).

Thus, we see digital citizenship as a continuation and broadening of the core Marshallian concept of citizenship. But the relationship between education and digital citizenship needs to be reconsidered to better fit the changing circumstances; the possibilities and dangers inherent in the advent of a digitally mediated world. It also brings into question the concept and practice of digital citizenship. …

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