07 SES 11 A JS, Curriculum Spaces and Strategies for Social Change through Education
Symposium Joint Session NW 03 with NW 07 and NW 23
In many European countries in recent decades, the social objectives of education have been more explicitly formulated as a task of education under the heading ‘citizenship education’ (Eurydice, 2005). In 2006 citizenship education became an obligation by law in the Netherlands. Abstract goals like democracy, participation and integration were provided. School-based curriculum development was seen as important for the development of meaningful content embedded in site-specific curricula. This from the premises that teachers and school leaders are knowledgeable about the meaning of citizenship education and on how to embed this in their local school curriculum. Last year the Education Inspectorate established that schools are not succeeding very well in offering citizenship education (Inspectie van het Onderwijs, 2014). Interpretations of citizenship education in the scientific literature vary from broad to narrow and from explicit to implicit. Citizenship education is sometimes given a well-defined place in curricula of schools, but is also considered an aspect of school culture. Solomon, Watson and Battistisch (2001) showed in a review study that an integrated form of citizenship education is the most effective. This may be integration into subjects and curricula, but also integration into aspects of social life at school, such as decision-making processes and dealing with and caring for each other. Concerning citizenship education we see intentions in general policy, curriculum policy and among teachers and school leaders, however strong practices do not develop. We’ll report on a design-based research project in which 8 school leaders and 24 teachers of 4 schools developed during four years (guided by experts) meaningful citizenship education activities in their schools. We saw teachers and school leaders starting enthusiastically with a rather limited knowledge about citizenship education, having a hard time in trying to develop a local curriculum and accompanying school culture that meets their expectations. Among their problems are time constraints and the priority in the organization of the school towards learning outcomes in the basics. Possible directions for change: a. Providing more support for teachers and school leaders on the substantive part (exemplary elaborations of citizenship in education) and the design part (how to design an adequate curriculum) b. Winding down curriculum policy intentions: defining citizenship education in a more detailed way; less autonomy for schools c. Watering down the substantive expectations: limiting the scope on citizenship education d. Reframing citizenship education and rethinking the aims of education (Biesta et al. 2009; Pike 2007: Johnson, Morris 2010. .
Biesta, G., Lawy, R., & Kelly, N. (2009). Understanding young people’s citizenship learning in everyday life: The role of contexts, relationships and dispositions. Education, Citizenship and Social Justice, 4 (1) 5 – 24. Eurydice (2005). Citizenship education at school in Europe. Survey. Brussel: European Commission. Inspectie van het onderwijs (2014). De staat van het onderwijs. Onderwijsverslag 2012-2013. [The state of education. Education report 20012-2013.] Utrecht: Inspectie van het Onderwijs. Johnson, L., & Morris, P. (2010). Towards a framework for critical citizenship education. Curriculum Journal, 21(1), 77-96. Pike, M.A. (2007) The state and citizenship education in England: a curriculum for subjects or citizens? Journal of Curriculum Studies, 39 (4), 471-489. Solomon, D. Watson, M.S. & Battistisch, V.A. (2001) Teaching and schooling effects research on moral-prosocial development. In Handbook on teaching, ed. V. Richardson, 566-603. Washington, DC: American Educational Research Association.
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