07 SES 04 B, Democratic Citizenship Education
In a time when young people are accused of lack of interest, engagement and participation in civil society (Theiss-Morse & Hibbing, 2005; Verba, Schlozman & Brady 2002; Putnam, 2000; Fahmy, 2006), we assist, at the same time, to a disinvestment on Citizenship Education from the part of education policies and policymakers. Even though this situation is common across Europe, in this paper we will focus on the Portuguese case.
In fact, Citizenship Education was elected as a central goal of education, in Portugal as in other European countries (Osler & Starkey, 2006), since the late nineties – not only in line with the curricular tendencies as that time, that reacted to concerns with youth civic and political disengagement and growing intolerance and xenophobia, but also because the relatively short democratic history of the country also justified a particular emphasis on the promotion of democratic citizenship (Menezes, 2003). However, since 2011, there was clearly a back to the basics movement and a clear disinvestment in Citizenship Education: in 2013, Civics was removed from the curriculum with the argument that teachers were not prepared for this curricular area (that they were involved in lecturing since 2003) and were using the time for dealing with other issues.
This absence of curricular goals and space in the context of schools can reinforce the role of NGOs in the promotion of Citizenship Education. In fact, NGOs are a relevant actor in citizenship education and they play, throughout Europe, a significant role on two main fronts: 1) by establishing partnerships with schools and making a specialized contribution to the school curriculum; and 2) as spaces of non-formal and informal education and participation through their daily activities (Kallioniemi, Zaleskiene, Lalor & Misiejuk, 2010; Park,2007). In a world where the role of NGOs in the context of the relationship between the state and the civil society is increasingly questioned (Kamat, 2004), the possible NGOization of citizenship education is therefore of particular relevance.
Our goal is to look at the phenomena of citizenship education through the eyes of NGOs. Our research aims to explore the ways in which NGOs conceive youth citizenship and citizenship education – both when this involves schools’ partnerships and when it relates to their own activities. NGOs can play a crucial and central role in the construction of youth citizenship, working in partnership with schools, opening the field of education to non-formal and informal spaces, and supporting young people in exploring their roles as political actors. But, given the many visions and faces of youth citizenship, from “citizens in the making” (Marshall, 1950) to actual political actors, how do NGOs conceptualize and conceive their role and responsibilities in this process?
Biesta, G. & Lawy, R. (2006) From teaching citizenship to learning democracy: overcoming individualism in research, policy and practice. Cambridge Journal of Education 36(1): 63-79 Fahmy, E. (2006) Young Citizens: young people’s involvement in politics and decision making. Hampshire: Ashgate Ferreira, P. D., Azevedo, C. & Menezes, I. (2012). The developmental quality of participation experiences: Beyond the rhetoric that "participation is always good!”. Journal of Adolescence, 35, 3, 599-610. Frazer, E. (2000) Citizenship education: anti-political culture and political education in Britain. Political Studies, vol.48, pp. 88-103 Heater, D. (1999) What is Citizenship? Cambridge: Polity Jorgernsen, M. W. & Phillips, L. J. (2002). Discourse Analysis as Theory and Method. SAGE . Kallioniemi, A.; Zaleskiene, I.; Lalor, J. & Misiejuk, D. (2010) Towards active citizenship: cooperation between universities and NGO in developing curriculum. Socialinis Ugdymas 12(23): 5-20 Kamat, S (2004) The privatization of public interest: theorizing NGO discourse in a neoliberal era, Review of International Political Economy, 11:1, 155-176. Marshall, T. H. (1950). Citizenship and social class and other essays. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. McCowan, T. (2009) Rethinking Citizenship Education: a curriculum for participatory democracy. London: Continuum Menezes, I. (2003). Civic education in Portugal: curricular evolutions in basic education. SOWI- Journal of Social Science Education, 2. Osler, A. & Starkey, H. (2006) Education for Democratic Citizenship: a review of research, policy and pratice 1995-2005. Research Papers in Education, 24: 433-466 Park, S. Y. (2007) Citizenship Education through NGOs. http://www.citized.info/pdf/commarticles/Citizenship%20Education%20through%20NGOs%20-%20sun%20young.pdf (accessed 23.03.2012) Putnam, R. D. (2000) Bowling Alone: the collapse and revival of American community. New York: Simon & Schuster Theiss-Morse, E. & Hibbing, J. R. (2005) Citizenship and Civic Engagement. Annual Review of Political Science, Vol. 8, pp. 227-249 Verba, S.; Schlozman, K. L. & Brady, H. E. (2002) Voice and Equality: civic voluntarism in American politics. Harvard: University Press
- Search for keywords and phrases in "Text Search"
- Restrict in which part of the abstracts to search in "Where to search"
- Search for authors and in the respective field.
- For planning your conference attendance you may want to use the conference app, which will be issued some weeks before the conference
- If you are a session chair, best look up your chairing duties in the conference system (Conftool) or the app.