10 SES 06 D, Situated and Comparative International Teacher Education
In all countries, education plays an important role in developing citizens who are prepared and motivated to engage actively in their communities, the nation and the world (Elliott, Fourali & Issler (eds), 2010). Citizenship education does not just mean learning about national history, geography and governmental structures, although this is one part of it. Citizenship education covers the knowledge, skills, values/attitudes and action required for children to become engaged, informed and competent participants in their social and political worlds (Print & Lange (eds) 2012). It includes aspects such as active participation in the school community, IT and language skills to access knowledge about global issues, and critical thinking skills to be able to interpret this knowledge and do something about it. Education for local, national and global citizenship is a theme found throughout education policies and curricula, at all stages of education (Arthur, Davies & Hahn (eds), 2008).
Teachers play a key role in citizenship education, and there has been substantial research internationally on teachers’ perceptions of citizenship and citizenship education (e.g. Leenders, Veugelers & De Kat, 2008, Osler, 2011), some of which emphasizes the idea that teachers are ill-prepared for this role (e.g. Rapoport, 2010). However, there has been less analysis of the ways teachers are prepared to engage in citizenship education in the school formally or informally through pre-service teacher education, and less research on explicit and implicit government expectations of the role of teachers in this respect. While analysis of policies and teacher education curricula does not actually explain what is happening in the classroom, it can provide insights into an “official” view of what teachers are expected to do, how they are expected to do it, and why (Kennedy, Lee & Grossman (eds) 2010). This is useful in ascertaining the professional knowledge and competences expected of teachers at the level of government, and also provides insights into the version of teacher roles and identities promoted at this level.
The aim of this paper is to report on the findings of an international comparative analytical study, conducted from August 2013 to November 2014, that explores the ways in which teacher education policies and curricula in Kazakhstan, England and Australia develop professional knowledge and competences related to citizenship education. The focus is on specialist citizenship education teachers (where applicable) and teachers of other subjects, during the period of compulsory education. The paper examines the explicit and implicit expectations of teachers embedded in policy and curriculum in Kazakhstan, England and Australia in terms of citizenship skills, knowledge and values/attitudes/qualities, and analyses how teacher education is structured in Kazakhstan, England and Australia to assure and facilitate acquisition of such knowledge, skills and values/attitudes/qualities.
Through comparative analysis, the paper will provide perspectives on teacher education for citizenship in three very different national contexts, all three of which are undergoing policy changes in this area. These diverse perspectives raise some interesting insights into and questions about the professional knowledge and skills teachers are expected to develop as they assume formal or informal roles in citizenship education in schools.
Apple, M. (1999). Official Knowledge: Democratic Education in a Conservative Age (2nd ed.). London: Routledge. Arthur, J., Davies, I & Hahn, C. (eds) (2008). The SAGE handbook of education for citizenship and democracy. London: SAGE. Elliott, G., Fourali, C. & Issler, S. (eds) (2010). Education and social change: Connecting local and global perspectives. London: Continuum. Kennedy, K., Lee, W.O. & Grossman, D. (eds) (2010). Citizenship pedagogies in Asia and the Pacific. Dordrecht: Springer. Leenders, H., Veugelers, W. & De Kat, E. (2008). Teachers’ views on citizenship education in secondary education in The Netherlands. Cambridge Journal of Education, 38: 2, 155–170. Osler, A. (2011). Teacher interpretations of citizenship education: national identity, cosmopolitan ideals, and political realities. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 43: 1, 1-24. Print, M. & Lange, D. (eds) (2012). Civic education and competences for engaging citizens in democracies. Rotterdam: Sense. Rapoport, A. (2010). We cannot teach what we don't know: Indiana teachers talk about global citizenship education. Education, Citizenship and Social Justice, 5: 179-190.
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