ERG SES C 08, Secondary Education
This paper presents an analysis of the policies developed in the European Union concerning European Citizenship as well as Education for European Citizenship (EEC) in order to understand how EEC is developed in schools (Upper Secondary and/or Vocational) and to contribute to the production of 'new' knowledge.
Education in European Citizenship (EEC) is quite new in what regard teaching and learning, and research developed in more recent years at national and international levels (Macedo & Araújo, 2014; Dale, 2005; Lister et. al, 2007). This new area is certainly an outcome of contemporary educational reforms in a context of global debate concerned with education and society (Arnot, 2009). The European Union (EU) has focused educational conditions in order to build a more competitive and prosperous European context (EP, 2000; Europe 2020 Strategy). Furthermore, “participation as an element of active citizenship in democracies has developed into a prominent project of international and national educational policy”(Hedtke & Zimenkova, 2013:17).
Despite all the efforts to promote policies and strategies towards Education for Citizenship, studies have pointed out that little is known about Education for Citizenship in school practices (Ribeiro et. al, 2014). Likewise, even less seems to be known about the European Citizenship (EC) sense of belonging and identity of young people from different ethnic and social backgrounds, in schools.
By listening to young people voices, the PhD research project to which this paper is related aims to understand if and how young people from different ethnic groups, backgrounds and locations identify themselves with European Citizenship (EC) in their feelings of belonging. The research observes and reflects on how young people from different ethnic groups and backgrounds experience EEC in projects in which they participate and understand EC in school, as place where perspectives of cultural diversity are developed. The school of today is one of the fundamental institutions around which young people structure their practices and discourses, their paths and projects, their identities and cultures (Abrantes, 2003).
A main question focuses their perception of the EC in the tension between the ´traditional ties of blood and territory’ and appeal for the transnational nature of EC that accommodates human rights and recognises cultural differences and autonomy, regardless of gender, ethnicity, religion, family and occupational status, which implies placing hybrid, cosmopolitan and heterogeneous identities on the horizon of citizenship, that is, non-essentialist identities (Macedo, 2011).
In broad sense, under a new 'light' citizenship raises issues such as equality, social justice and inclusion which are of great relevance in education (Araújo, 2007; Arnot 2009), and may be useful to understand EC. This occurs within the tensions between the assertions of new roles for the State within a multi scale framework, hand in hand with economic, cultural and political and social educational reconfiguration, but also within the creation of the idea of a shared future, foreseeing a common mission and incorporating old artefacts and national symbols in a ‘new’ way, for the manufacture of Europe as educational space (Nóvoa & Lawn, 2002).
Abrantes, Pedro (2003). Identidades Juvenis e Dinâmicas de Escolaridade. Sociologia, Problemas e Práticas, n.º41, 93-115. Retirado em julho, 13, 2010 de [on-line] http://www.scielo.oces.metes.pt/pdf/spp/n41a04.pdf. Araújo, Helena Costa (2007). Cidadania na sua polifonia – Debates nos estudos de educação feministas. In Educação, Sociedade e Culturas, 25, 83-116. Arnot, Madeleine (2009). Educating the Gendered Citizen: Sociological Engagements with National and Global Agendas. London and New York: Routledge. Dale, Roger (2005). Globalisation, knowledge economy and comparative education. In Comparative Education, 41(2), 117-149. European Parliament (EP) 2000. Lisbon European Council 23 - 24 March 2000. Presidency Conclusions. European Parliament. Retrieved June 6, 2013 (http://www.europarl.europa.eu/summits/lis1_en.htm); Europe 2020 Strategy http://ec.europa.eu/europe2020/pdf/targets_en.pdf. Hedtke, Reinhold & Zimenkova, Tatjana (2013). Education for Civic and Political Participation: A Critical Approach. London: Routledge. Lister, Ruth; Smith, Noel; Middleton, Sue & Cox, Lynne (2007). Young people talk about citizenship: empirical perspectives on theoretical and political debates. Citizenship Studies, 7 (2), 235-253. Macedo, Eunice & Araújo, Helena Costa (2014). Young Portuguese construction of educational citizenship: commitments and conflicts in semi-disadvantaged secondary schools. Journal of Youth Studies, 17(3), 343-359. Macedo, Eunice (2012). School rankings, on the other hand…: Possibilities of young adult citizenship in the tension of educational and social change. Ph.D Theses, University of Porto, FPCE. Nóvoa, António & Lawn, Martin (Eds.) (2002). Fabricating Europe – the formation of an Education Space. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publications. Ribeiro, Norberto; Malafaia, Carla; Neves, Tiago; Ferreira, Pedro D., & Menezes, Isabel (2014). Constraints and opportunities for civic and political participation: Perceptions of young people from immigrant and non-immigrant background in Portugal. Journal of Youth Studies, 1-21. JCR; Scopus. Retrieved January 29, 2015 (http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13676261.2014.992307).
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