Diversity and Citizenship Education: Global Perspectives

By James A. Banks | Go to book overview

INTRODUCTION
DEMOCRATIC CITIZENSHIP
EDUCATION IN
MULTICULTURAL SOCIETIES
James A. Banks

THE INCREASING RACIAL, ethnic, cultural, and language diversity in nation-states throughout the world, and the growing recognition and legitimization of diversity, are causing educators to rethink citizenship education. The worldwide ethnic, cultural, and language revitalization movements are challenging assimilationist notions of citizenship education and are insisting that diverse cultures be reflected in the school, college, and university curriculum. However, every pluralistic nation-state must also be concerned about unity and a set of shared values that will cement the commonwealth. The conference on which this book is based was held so that educators in different parts of the world could share issues, challenges, and possibilities for implementing citizenship education programs that balance unity and diversity in pluralistic nation-states.


Defining Citizenship and Citizenship Education

A citizen may be defined as a “native or naturalized member of a state or nation who owes allegiance to its government and is entitled to its protection.” This is the definition of citizen in Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language (1989, p. 270). This

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