10 SES 12 A, Narratives and Quality Profiles in Teacher Education
Citizenship is a juridical-legal concept and also a socio-historical phenomenon. Citizenship conceptualising implies the recognition that the concept itself is in dispute, in view of the capitalism contradictions in continuing the civilisation process of human rights universalisation.
Citizenship changes according to epochs, countries and traditions and it is not homogeneous, encompassing several dimensions, which may be contradictory. Amongst the elements in citizenship there is citizen competence. Any citizen must possess certain competences to intervene in a democratic space in order to be heard, to defend his own interests and those of his group, which gives individual development a high degree of complexity, since it implies learning the practice of rights (Dubet, 2011).
The formation of citizenship is a matter of principles and values although it makes part of the form of schooling itself, of the way to operate learnings, of a discipline system, of a set of rules. It became consensual - or at least increasingly proclaimed – that he highest ideal of the school education action should be the preparation for citizenship and the formation of an ethical and solidary conduct. So, the role of public school is crucial in education for citizenship: public school welcomes everyone; it is an integral part of democratic life.
The education of fundamental values for public life cannot merely consist on transmitting information, such as the Declaration of Human Rights content or the Constitution principles. The possession of such information can play a key role in the development of concepts and practices related to education for citizenship; however, its mere thematisation does not guarantee an educational action linked to those values. Nor does it inevitably lead to students’ accession to a way of life based on them. Contrarily, it is not uncommon that the democratic rhetoric to which students are exposed is accompanied by acts of discrimination and exclusion. School may ultimately contribute to maintaining a gap between the proclamation of citizenship and its implementation.
Ethical dimension is a fundamental principle of citizenship and is tied to judgments of value that will determine the course of individual and collective autonomy in society. Although social change cannot be exclusively assigned to school, the reflection on pedagogical practice, the responsibility of the teachers and the organization of the specificities of educational routine have a crucial role on the development of citizenship, as consciousness, based on ethical and political grounds, should also be formed at school, which cannot evade its share of commitment in building a better humanity (Freire, 1996). Teachers should have critical knowledge, which means to consider that the elements that make up citizenship fit not only the student, but must first be part of the identity of each teacher when proposing to educate (PIMENTA; GHEDIN, 2002).
The objective of this exploratory study is based on knowing the narratives about citizenship and the impact of a continuous training course, from a group of teachers in a Portuguese public schools cluster. Methodologically, narratives were used and were simultaneously understood as a phenomenon and method, for their potential to promote understanding of what happens with the subjects, which subjectivates them and makes them be and act as such. They are human stories that assign meaning, significance and purpose to the practices and experiences, arising from the interpretation of who is speaking or writing (Clandinin and Connelly, 1995). The narratives imply reflection that implies learning and teaching. Learning because the narrative organizes ideas, explores the experiences, gives them meaning, so new learning comes forward. Teaching, because the other one, facing the narrative and the experiences and knowledge of a co-worker, can (re)define his own knowledge and experiences.
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