07 SES 05 A, Citizenship Education
The paper focuses on whether and how students of different ethnic groups, experience European citizenship and the possible mismatch between their voices and the ones of their trainers. While exploring the perspectives and this potential mismatch, the paper will search also to identify and understand the educational practices on European Citizenship, within school developed by both groups. Our assumption is that school staff may have an important role in establishing bridges between the European discourse on how citizens, especially young people should be encouraged to participate in political and social life (Eurydice, 2012), at national and European level - as agents of citizenship with a view to social justice - and the enactment of this principles in school life. Intercultural education in the setting of teaching to social diversity is the basis for educational and social justice; “the Council of Europe recognized and appropriated the multicultural turn impressed on education and society [… So] the ‘recommendations’ that ensued chose to highlight the dynamic dimension of multiculturalism by stressing how interaction and communication among individuals and collectivities could more effectively affirm and realize the respect for, understanding and valorization of diversity” (Gobbo, 2011a:35).
Two fundamental axes are in the spotlight: understanding what young people from non-dominant ethnic groups perceive as belonging or not to European Citizenship (EC) and their interpretations of citizenship in itself and EC. We take into account that “research on how education can ensure social cohesion is not only greatly needed (…) but must take into account the social and cultural contexts and how these interact with the culture of the school” (Gobbo, 2011b:172).
Considering the ways in which young adults’ backgrounds impact their interaction with school culture, we question possible tensions between young adults´ voices, and the perspectives of trainers and other staff. Within the wider concern about the way in which young adults of different ethnicities and backgrounds position themselves in their belonging and identification with European Citizenship, this paper questions possible asymmetries in what concerns the promotion of European Citizenship in school, while unveiling the possible prevalence of social injustice and exclusion. We argue that even if ethnicity is related to cultural forms of belonging (Council of Europe, 2008), it may increasingly represent a "new" form of inequality, alongside social class (Casa-Nova, 2001) and the presence of distinct cultures, as characteristics of contemporary societies in which ethnic differences are more evident (Perotti, 1997) and need to be more valued by means of intercultural education.
In turn, thinking about citizenship on a national basis constitutes a challenge to understand the paradigmatic congruence between the rights of the State and its members (Olsen, 2013). The debate on European citizenship (EC) thus becomes part of the debate on education and society, encouraging participation with voice and defying diversity. Diversity is one important feature of the school where the study takes place. Hence the argument that school has the possibility to promote citizenship through the construction of knowledge and the involvement of students implies the provision of conditions for the enactment of pedagogic democratic rights of enhancement, inclusion and participation (Bernstein, 1996). It is in school that young people can experience, live and relate to one another as actors of the construction of their citizenship (Macedo, 2017) crisscrossing the national and European dimensions. Such conceptualizations allow us to infer that in a world and school that is intended to be intercultural, being a citizen also implies maintaining and valuing cultural differences in the public sphere (Ansion & Tubino, 2007); a view whose prevalence is explored in the course of this discussion in the voices of young adults and trainers.
Ansion, Juan; Tubino, Fidel (Eds.) (2007). Educar em Ciudadanía Intercultural: Experiencias y retos en la formación de estudantes universitarios indígenas. Perú: Fondo Editorial de la Pontiﬁcia Universidad Católica del Perú. Araújo, Helena Costa (2007). Cidadania na sua polifonia – Debates nos estudos de educação feministas. Educação, Sociedade e Culturas, 25, 83-116. Arendt, Hannah (1958). A condição humana. Lisboa: Relógio d’Água. Bernstein, Basil (1996). Pedagogy and Symbolic Control and Identity - theory, research, critique. Londres: Taylors & Francis. Casa-Nova, Maria José (2001). Etnicidade e Classes Sociais: Em torno do valor heurístico da conceptualização da etnia como categoria social. Educação, Sociedade e Culturas, 16, 63-82. Gobbo, Francesca (2011a). Ethnographic Research in Multicultural Educational Contexts as a Contribution to Intercultural Dialogue. Policy Futures in Education, Vol. 9 Number 1, 35-42. http://dx.doi.org/10.2304/pfie.2011.9.1.35. Gobbo, Francesca (2011b). Globalization and education: Comparative perspectives. International Sociology Review of Books 26(2), 170-182. European Council (2008). White Paper on Intercultural Dialogue: “Living Together As Equals in Dignity”. Strasbourg: Council of Europe Ministers of Foreign Affairs at their 118th Ministerial Session. Retrieved January 2, 2016 (http://www.coe.int/t/dg4/intercultural/source/white%20paper_final_revised_en.pdf). Eurydice (2012). A Educação para a Cidadania na Europa. Lisboa: Direção-Geral de Estatísticas da Educação e Ciência. Retrieved February 20, 2015 (http://eacea.ec.europa.eu/education/eurydice). Doi:10.2797/21471. Macedo, Eunice (2012). (Re)Constructing femininities and masculinities: Northern Portuguese students speak about their lives, desires, and dreams. Educação, Sociedade & Culturas, 35, 67-88. Macedo, Eunice (2017). Vozes jovens entre experiência e desejo: Que lugares de cidadania?. Porto: Afrontamento (no prelo). Olsen, Espen (2013). European Citizenship: Mixing Nation State and Federal Features with a Cosmopolitan Twist. Perspectives on European Politics and Society, 14(4), 505–519. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15705854.2013.772750. Perotti, Antonio (1997). Apologia do Intercultural. Lisboa: Secretariado Coordenador dos Programas de Educação Multicultural. Thomas, Robert (2003). Blending qualitative and quantitative research methods in thesis and dissertations. Thousand Oaks: Corwin Press.
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