International Research Handbook on Values Education and Student Wellbeing

pp 811-823


Active Citizenship Education and Critical Pedagogy

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This chapter analyses the claim that in our commitment to citizenship education, we have been seduced by the rhetoric producing a narrow view of the potential that citizenship education has for authentic social change. The chapter argues that, internationally, the pedagogy of citizenship education is dominated by teaching about citizenship and that this traditional pedagogic commitment has not produced young citizens who are active and fully engaged members of their society. It is then suggested that if citizenship education is to meet its goal of ensuring active participation within a democratic framework, educators need to adopt a critical pedagogy that emphasizes curriculum as praxis, the creation of a socially just teaching and learning environment and democratic learning communities.