23 SES 14 C, Citizenship and Careers Education
The promotion of citizenship through formal education has been an priority in Europe ever since the end of WW II (Keating, 2009). Considering the school as one of the main spaces and times where young people can learn how to become active European democratic citizens, policy initiatives aimed at embedding citizenship in educational curricula and practices have risen to the top of the educational agendas. Whereas both education and citizenship in Europe have, throughout time, been considered and promoted as matters related to and under the authority of the nation-state, over the last decades attention to these matters has increasingly shifted to and been initiated at a European level. This has led to a current policy arena, where educational policy initiatives focus on promoting European citizenship, influencing and co-existing with national and regional citizenship education (CE) policies and concepts (Keating, 2009 and Keating, 2014).
Departing from the idea that policies are statements that are always normative, intended to codify certain values, project images of an ideal society and establish practices in accordance with those values (Bîrzéa, Kerr, Mikkelsen, Froumin, Losito, Pol & Sardoc, 2004) this paper analyses the normativity of these current policies related to citizenship education, both at the European and national or regional level. The main questions guiding our analysis, are then:
- What are considered the ultimate goals of citizenship education?
- What is proposed as good citizenship and good (citizenship) education in current policy initiatives in Europe?
- Who is the citizen (to be) who is addressed by citizenship education understood as it currently is? What subjectivity is promoted? (Hodgson, 2016).
In order to address questions about the normativity of citizenship education, we depart from what Biesta argues, based on the work of Klaus Mollenhauer, are the three functions of education (Biesta, 2009 & Biesta, 2011):
- Qualification: providing young people with the knowledge, skills, understandings, dispositions and forms of judgement that allow someone to do/be something.
- Socialisation: ways of becoming member and part of particular social, cultural and political ‘orders’, the transmission of norms and values, bringing young people into existing ways of knowing and doing
- Subjectification: Becoming a (political) subject, ways of becoming autonomous and independent from the socio-political order, process through which new ways of being and doing as a unique subject can come into existence. We broaden this concept of subjectification by including Simons and Masschelein (2010) distinction between the political, governmental and pedagogical subjectivation.
We depart from Avril Keatings (2009, 2014) historical analysis of European citizenship education policy, which describes 3 phases in policymaking from 1949 up to 2014. We then focus on the question whether current Europen CE policy initiatives can still be ‘categorized’ under this third phase or whether we can distinguish new evolutions in current policy language, for instance under the influence of the rise of terrorist attacks and threats in Europe in recent years? In order to investigate whether Keating’s analysis still stands today, this paper analyzes the European CE policy language since 2014. Identifying the European Union, Council of Europe and International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) as three main actors in the current CE policy arena, we analyze the documents on CE published by these organizations since 2014. We also include an analysis of Flemish policy documents of this same time period, in order to illustrate the interplay between the European, national and regional levels of citizenship and CE in Europe. Sources used are (among other): - Bîrzéa, C.; Kerr, D.; Mikkelsen, R.; Froumin, I.; Losito, B.; Pol, M.; Sardoc, M. (2004). All European Study on Education for Democratic Citizenship Policies. - European Commission/EACEA/Eurydice (2017). Citizenship Education at school in Europe – 2017. Eurydice Report. - Vlaams Parlement (2015). Actieplan ter preventie van radicaliseringsprocessen die kunnen leiden tot extremisme en terrorisme. - W. Schulz, W.; Ainley, J.; Fraillon, J.; Losito, B.; Agrusti, G. (2016). IEA International Civic and Citizenship Education Study 2016 Assessment Framework.
Overall, the focus of citizenship education policy documents is on relational aims of citizenship and citizenship education. For instance, both European and Flemish policy texts emphasize the promoting of social cohesion, solidarity, peaceful living together, respect for diversity, etc. as the most important aims of CE. However, CE itself, as the means of achieving these goals, is presented as an organised set of interventions aimed at individual ‘learners’: young people are presented as citizens-to-be, who still need to acquire the necessary skills, knowledge and ‘fundamental’ values for active participation in and the well-being of a democratic society. In our analysis, we therefore make a distinction between the explicit normativity of current CE policies and their implicit normativity, and show how the relationship between both is paradoxical. The paradox resides in how, on the one hand, CE policies in Europe explicitly focus on installing in young people a set of relational values and virtues, considered to be the foundation of active, democratic citizenship. But on the other hand, and related to the increasing reliance of policy for its ‘evidence base’ on international, standardized research such as the IEA’s, education for these relational values and virtues is implicitly reduced to an individual learning problem. We will further argue that this paradoxical relation between both normativities follows from a problematic conceptualisation of the aims of citizenship education. CE policies, through what they propose as the aims of CE, tend to instrumentalise it, reducing it to a means of achieving socio-political goals or ideals. We therefore believe that, in order to better achieve the relational goals and aims of CE that are central to current policy in Europe, we need to restore the attention to and room for the relational character of education, and its pedagogical aims.
Biesta, G. (2009). Good education in an age of measurement: on the need to reconnect with the question of purpose in education. Educational Assessment, Evaluation and Accountability, 21(1), 33–46. Biesta, G. (2011). Theorising civic learning: socialisation, subjectification and the ignorant citizen. Learning democracy in school and society: education, lifelong learning, and the politics of citizenship (pp.85-99). Rotterdam: SensePublishers. Bîrzéa, C.; Kerr, D.; Mikkelsen, R.; Froumin, I.; Losito, B.; Pol, M.; Sardoc, M. (2004). All European study on education for democratic citizenship policies. Strasbourg. Council of Europe Publishing. http://www.nefmi.gov.hu/letolt/nemzet/eu/All- European%20Study%20on%20Policies%20for%20EDC.pdf. European Commission/EACEA/Eurydice (2017). Citizenship education at school in Europe – 2017. Eurydice Report. Luxembourg. Publications Office of the European Union. https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/fpfis/mwikis/eurydice/images/9/97/Citizenship_Study_EN_2017.pdf. Hodgson, N. (2016). Citizenship for the learning society: Europe, subjectivity, and educational research. Wiley Blackwell. Vlaams Parlement (2015). Actieplan ter preventie van radicaliseringsprocessen die kunnen leiden tot extremisme en terrorisme. http://docs.vlaamsparlement.be/docs/stukken/2014-2015/g317-1.pdf. Keating, A. (2009). Educating Europe’s citizens: moving from national to post-national models of educating for European citizenship. Citizenship Studies 13(2), 135-151. Keating, A. (2014). Education for Ctizenship in Europe: European Policies, national adaptations, and young people’s attitudes. Palgrave Macmillan UK. Simons, M. & Masschelein, J. (2010). Governmental, political and pedagogic subjectivation: Foucault with Rancière. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 42(5-6), 588-605. Schulz, W.; Ainley, J.; Fraillon, J.; Losito, B.; Agrusti, G. (2016). IEA International Civic and Citizenship Education Study 2016: Assessment Framework. Amsterdam. IEA. https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007%2F978-3-319-39357-5.pdf.
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