Another Type of Character Education: Citizenship Education

By Silay, Nur | International Journal of Education, April 1, 2014 | Go to article overview

Another Type of Character Education: Citizenship Education


Silay, Nur, International Journal of Education


Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to share one specific section in the literature review of a doctoral dissertation. This paper aims at presenting research findings by different researchers and enabling readers to see an overview of an educational current called "citizenship education". The concept of citizenship is connected with democratic values and an ideal citizen is not only an individual who knows much about politics, but also an active person who takes a responsible role in the daily, political life of their society. Citizenship education especially takes place at schools as a policy of the state and students are encouraged and trained to take part in the societal activities of the community they live in. Citizenship education and character education are similar in many ways and citizenship education is considered as a type of character education by some scientists. Some of these similarities include the reason why they emerged, the fact that both are connected to the core values, their close relationship with moral education, common identical methods they use, and sharing some positive character traits. To conclude, these two educational currents are alike in several respects and they complement each other. It must also be mentioned that it is important to offer both educational currents to students not only for the benefit of the individuals, but also for the benefit of the whole society and the future.

Keywords: citizenship education, character education, community service learning

1. Introduction

Citizenship education is an educational current that has received a high degree of attention along with character education. These two approaches have many common aspects as well as moral education and values education. Several researches have been conducted and the implementation of citizenship education has been taking place in many educational institutions. This paper intends to gather different research findings from various sources and evaluate them by comparing the findings and reaching a synthesis. This is a research review which was included as one of the in-depth sub-sections in the literature review of the author's doctoral dissertation. The intention of the author is to unveil some key parts of her dissertation as the dissertation is available only to speakers of her native language, which is spoken solely in one country.

Below, some definitions of "research review" have been provided by local and foreign scientists. According to Aysan, the aim of reviews is compiling information about a topic and offering readers that information in a meaningful and chronological way. Hence, the past and present situations as well as future research studies on that topic are presented (Aysan, 2003). Creswell explains that syntheses of past research first mention the problem, then identify the central theme, and lastly identify the major conclusions (Creswell, 1994). He calls this type of nonempirical study "review" and not research study. Robson defines research review as "having a synoptic aim of putting together and evaluating different kinds of findings in a particular field of interest" (Robson, 2000). Since the objective is collecting and then assessing diverse types of research findings, this paper should be considered a research review (Robson, 2000).

2. The Concept of Citizenship

It seems appropriate to remember the responsibilities of a good citizen so as to comprehend the concept of "citizenship". According to Haynes et al, "the citizen must demonstrate a reasoned commitment to fundamental principles, such as popular sovereignty, rule of law, religious liberty, and the like". In their opinion, good citizens must also show a clear attachment to core values, such as freedom, life, equality, following happiness, the quality of being true, and encouragement of the common good (Haynes et al, 1997). Therefore, a responsible citizen needs to show commitment both to principles and values. …

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