23 SES 07 D, Civil Competence and Partnership
Parallel Paper Session
The achievement of the EU project has given the school an outstanding role in promoting a democratic and European citizenship. In 1997 the European Commission report on education and training emphasized precisely the idea that citizenship was "building a greater Europe characterized by cultural differences, different economic concepts, different natural realities, but united by a sense of belonging to a common civilization"(European Commission, 1997). Education for citizenship has been the most visible face of this purpose, having been the reason for the implementation of educational reforms in Europe (Menezes, 2003) and the subject of several international studies at the level of knowledge, skills, attitudes and political involvement of young people (Torney-Purta et al, 2001).
However, in line with the European demand, the literature has called attention that education for citizenship should not focus exclusively on information about citizenship, but also be concerned with the development of competences more directly involved in the action and with the provision of concrete opportunities to act (Menezes, et al, 1999).
It is assumed, therefore, an understanding of citizenship that is based on the relationship with the whole society (Roldão, 1999). However, it is important to be aware of the risks of "hyper-schooling" of the social (Correia, 2001), to the extent that civil society is potentially a formative space for the exercise of active citizenship.
In this context of analysis, various social institutions, not only the school, have an important role in preparing young people for citizenship, that probably begins by recognizing young people as citizens. This involves a shared responsibility "for creating a secure relational basis from which there is opportunity to explore diverse perspectives, through the involvement of youth in action projects, and the careful integration of meaning from the lived, essential components in building a personal synthesis of what is meaningful exercise of citizenship "(Menezes et al, 1999).
Additionally, research has shown that some groups are in particular risk of exclusion, as is the case with young migrants (Magalhães, 2008; Sardinha, 2007), more so because their opportunities for meaningful civic and political exercize are under the influence of the institutional and political opportunities of the host societies (Sardinha, 2007). This paper confronts the vision of policy makers about educational policy with some exploratory data on educational policies aimed at immigration, in order to understand better what has been its influence on the citizenship of young immigrants in Portugal.
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