20 SES 10, Citizenship and Motivation in Higher Education and Collaborative Learinging in Cultural Diverse Motivation Expectations and Experiences for International Sutdents in Higher Education Groups
Citizenship education still one of the most controversial issues into the educational arena. Discussions revolve around three fundamental topics: i) To what extent education systems should be responsible for the teaching of social and political values?; ii) Who must take decisions over what social and political values have to be taught in schools?; and iii) How effective schools really are in encouraging civic engagement in their students? It is the last of these three questions this paper is interested at. We will take part on the ongoing discussion by analyzing International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme (DP) curriculum proposal for “global citizenship”, and by measuring its impact on Spanish high school students. In principle, it is always difficult to know to what extent a “committed citizen” results from the civic instruction he has received at school. Actually, according to scientific literature on this matter, there is no agreement (and even skepticism) about the long-term effects formal citizenship education really has (Manning & Edwards, 2014; Cohen & Chaffee, 2013; Hart, Donnelly, Youniss & Atkins, 2007). However, active citizenship and the role that schools play on it, can still being justified by the very nature of democracy. Democracy as a political system, as a system of organizing community life, is a crafting system. Guarantees rights and freedoms are not something spontaneous that grows out of nothing. In order to secure their own continuity, democracies are in need of citizens capable of using their mechanisms and taking part in their institutions. By generalizing civic education in schools, there will be more citizens with the ability to make use, in a more critical, constructive, and creative way, of democratic institutions so these will serve to common projects.
Within the current globalized context, democratic states are now facing new difficulties when transferring their need of “educated citizens” to schools. Young people are going to live together in increasingly diverse local communities and an interdependent world, so the concept of “citizenship” must go further and exceed the limits of national constitutional frameworks, monocultural codes or geographical boundaries. So much so that one can speak of a shift in the role of civic education. This shift recognizes the relevance of citizenship education and learning in understanding and resolving global issues in social, political, cultural, economic and environmental areas. Interestingly enough, the fostering of social and civic competences among younger generations beyond national citizenships is a key feature within the European political agenda for education (Recommendation 2006/962/EC; Council conclusions of 12 May 2009; Recommendation CM/Rec(2010)7)), and during the last decade it has progressively been incorporated across the EU education systems (Eurydice, 2012; Kerr, Sturman, Schulz & Burge, 2010). Civic education is now expected to facilitate international cooperation and promote social transformation in an innovative way towards a more just, peaceful, tolerant, inclusive, secure and sustainable world (UNESCO, 2014). IB programs are a specific expression of this cosmopolitan approach to civic education. They aim at developing internationally minded people who, recognizing their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet, help to create a better and more peaceful world. IB students and teachers are encouraged to explore global and local issues, including developmentally appropriate aspects of the environment, development, conflicts, rights and cooperation and governance. Globally engaged people critically consider power and privilege, and recognize that they hold the earth and its resources in trust for future generations (IBO, 2013). Thus, the specific question this paper wants to address is how successful high schools are really being in implementing “global citizenship” as proposed by IB DP, and to what extent this is nurturing a cosmopolitan citizenship among students.
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