03 SES 13, Facilitating Curriculum Implementation
Citizenship education (CE) is part of the curriculum of almost every nation-state worldwide and depending on the jurisdiction of each country the modality in which it has been implemented might vary.
This study focuses on how a regional study plan -of the Canton Ticino in Switzerland- is adopted by middle schools teachers at a disciplinary and interdisciplinary level. It explores to which extent there is a coherence between the study plan that integrates CE and the teachers’ perspective on (world) CE and its integration in the classroom.
Through different methods of data collection such as semi-structured interviews and discussion groups, in which a group of 9 teachers of a secondary school of the region are participating, the study aims to detect relevant aspects for drafting a future teacher professional development in this field. The main objectives of this research is to identify the attitudes, possibilities and difficulties of teachers when they teach world CE, as well as understanding their professional development needs.
The construction of the theoretical framework, which contains the main debates around the concept of (world) citizenship and (world) citizenship education such as the critical approach of Andreotti and de Souza (2013), has been crucial for conducting this case study.
Due to the pressures of globalization, CE has taken in many countries a global perspective, challenging in this way a more local version of it. In fact globalization defined by Giddens as “the process of intensification of cross-area and cross-border social relations between actors from very distant locations, and growing transnational interdependence of economics and social activities” (Giddens, 1990, p.9), is characterized by various processes such as transnational migration, homogenization of cultural practices and development of supranational groupings that often seem to challenge more local versions of citizenship. Being part of a unique world network justifies an approach of CE that goes beyond the teaching of the rights and obligations that a citizen has in a particular state.
This is the case of countries such as Canada (Banks, 2001) and England (Huddleston, 2005) where in-service teacher education on world CE also exists.
At an international level there is the proposal of the Organization of the United Nations for Education, Science and Culture (UNESCO, 2014), which defines global citizenship education (GCE) and its correspondent guidelines for educators. Teaching this approach in each subject and at an interdisciplinary level, teachers may require training that provides them a space for thinking about their role as teachers, what they mean with citizenship, what are the competences related to this perspective and how to put world CE in practice in their schools.
In the particular, in the case of Ticino, the Department of Education of Ticino considers within its curriculum an approach-resembling global CE, however, on the other side in-service teacher education is given to history teachers and is mainly concerning civic education. Moreover, through the approval on the 24th of September 2017 of the popular initiative “ Sì alla civica nelle scuole”- a political instrument of the Swiss semi-direct democracy- the priority has been given to teach civic education rather than world CE. The fact that politicians and citizens can contribute to change some parts of the study plan of a region without taking into account teachers’ position, justifies this study as an opportunity for teachers to listen to their voices, explore their vision of citizenship and what they are already doing in schools, and see which type of support they need in order to implement the general study plan and if and how they embrace their political role as teachers by teaching world CE. (589)
This research is a case study (Stake, 1998) about how the proposal of implementing (world) CE in the curriculum of the Department of Education of Ticino is understood and applied by teachers in order to explore key elements for a future in-service teacher education program in GCE. The case study is chosen for its “critical character, meaning that the case allows to confirm, change, modify or amplify the knowledge concerning the object of the study” (Rodriguez et al. , 1996, p. 95). The methodology seeks participation of the teachers to better understand the phenomenon through their own perspectives. This is in contrast with the reality of a region where, despite the tendency for world CE, civic education has been imposed by a referendum against the will of the teachers. More over in this region educational research happens to justify political decisions taken by the local government. It can be said that it consists of an intrinsic case study (Yin, 1989), that wants to reach a better comprehension of a concrete case that disposes of a variety of techniques of data collection and analysis (Cebreiro, & Fernández, 2004). A progressive design is being used with different levels of analysis (macro, meso and micro) in which a feedback of the information collected in each stage exists (Latorre et al., 1996). The case needs different methods of collecting data such as document analysis, semi-structured interviews of key informers and teachers, such as the participation in discussion groups and class observations. The document analysis is using the strategy of Valles (1999). Concerning the interviews, priority is given to the dialogue (Bisquerra et al., 2004) and guided by specific topics. This being a participative research, I am open to change the twists of the discussion groups depending on the elements raised in the previous discussion groups or in the interviews. The discussion groups have been characterized by the participation of 8 teachers in 6 meetings. These discussion groups allowed a deeper look into their own perspectives, needs and difficulties in teaching world of CE. I have been using an art-based research approach, which helped to promote dialogue, and was useful in researching teacher identity (Leavy, 2009, p. 12). In this sense the production of cartographies have helped to gather relevant information to meet the objectives and to unveil some elements not taken into account while framing the draft of the theoretical framework.
Unlike the political initiatives concerning civic education in Ticino centered on teaching swissness (Ostinelli, 2016), this study allows to explore the fundamental elements of CE, stated by Janowitz (1983), as the role of education is to discourage patriotism while rather promoting a civic consciousness that recognizes the integration of each individual into the world community. The main outcome of this research is to highlight the potential gap between what is written in the curriculum concerning CE versus the teachers’ knowledge, necessities, and attitudes concerning CE. The use of cartographies allowed teachers to- while participating in the research- also reflect on their political role as teachers and getting to know their colleagues’ views. It also gave them a space for debating the interdisciplinarity of CE. Moreover, class observations served to explore teachers’ practices in CE, linked to transversal competencies. Several authors such as Deakin Crick et al. (2005) have studied this link, that focuses on the impact that CE has on learning transversal competencies. After the data analysis, I hope to find key elements that contribute in drafting some guidelines for in-service teacher education, which could contribute to help teachers to have satisfying training experiences. In fact, the non-formal teacher training might constitute for teachers an important element for having formative, gratifying experiences (Sadio, 2011). It allows them the development of personal and social characteristics; such as being themselves. It was also under these lenses that the discussion groups were built. I am aware of the difficulties for teachers to make deep curricular changes in their educational plan due to a lack of time, lack of material, and a certain resistance from the educational community (Sadio, 2011).
Andreotti, V., & de Souza, L.M.(2013). Postcolonial Perspectives on Global Citizenship Education. London: Routledge Banks, J.A. (2001). Cultural diversity and education: Foundations, curriculum, and teaching. Boston: MA: Allyn & Bacon. Biesta, G.J.J., & Lawy, R.S. (2006). From teaching citizenship to learning democracy. Overcoming individualism in research, policy and practice. Cambridge Journal of Education 36(1), pp. 63-79. Bisquerra, R., et al. (2004). Metodologia de la investigación educativa. Madrid: La muralla. Cebreiro, B., & Fernandez, M.C. (2004). Estudio de casos. In Salvador, F.; Rodríguez, J.L. & Bolívar, A., Diccionario enciclopédico de didáctica. Málaga: Aljibe. Deakin Crick, R., Tew, M., Taylor, M., Durant, K. & Samuel, E.(2005). A Systematic Review of the Impact of Citizenship Education on Learning and Achievement.Research evidence in education library. London: Evidence for Policy and Practice Co-ordinating Centre, Social Science Research Unit, Institute of Education. Giddens,A.(1990).Consequence of Modernity. Cambridge: Polity Press. Huddleston, T. (2005). Teacher Training in Citizenship Education: Training for a New Subject or for a New Kind of Subject? Journal of Social Science Education. Bielefeld: Bielefeld University, 4 (3), pp. 50-63, http://www.jsse.org/index.php/jsse/article/view/995 accessed 7 January 2019. Janowitz, M. (1983). The reconstruction of patriotism: education for civic consciousness. Chicago: University of Chicago. Latorre, A., el Rincón, D. Y, & Arnal, J. (1996). Bases metodológicas de la investigación educativa. Barcelona: Graó. Leavy, P. (2009). Methods meet art: Arts-based research. Practice First Edition. New York: Guilford Press. Ostinelli, M. (2016). La storia dell’educazione svizzera in Ticino ed il dibattito attuale. Archivio storico ticinese. Locarno: Scuola universitaria professionale della svizzera italiana (SUPSI), pp. 102-111 Rodríguez Gómez, G., Gil Flores, J. y García Jiménez, E. (1996). Metodología de la investigación cualitativa. Málaga: Aljibe Sadio, F. (2011). Una experiencia de formación continua del profesorado para la ciudadanía y los derechos humanos. Revista Qurriculum. Coimbra: Escola Superior de Educação del Instituto Politécnico de Coimbra, 2, http://publica.webs.ull.es/upload/REV%20QURRICULUM/24%20- %202011/05%20Sadio%20Ramos.pdf, accessed 7 January 2019 Stake, R.E. (1998). Investigación con estudios de casos. Madrid: Morata. UNESCO ( 2014). Global citizenship Education, preparing learners for the challenges of the 21st Century, http://www.unesco.ch/fileadmin/user_upload/3_Wie/bildung/Global_Citizenship_ Education.pdf, accessed 7 January 2019 Valles, M.(1999). Técnicas cualitativas de investigación social. Reflexión metodológica y practica. Madrid: Síntesis. Yin, R. (1989). Case Study Research. Design and Methods. London: SAGE.
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