The contemporary world is marked by numerous new challenges: growth of inequality, migration, development of new technologies, climate change. All of them create tensions among nations, social groups or cultures. In the face of growing multiculturalism and need for dialogue, social responsibility as a concept in the educational field has received due attention. For instance, Berman (Educational Leadership, November:75–80, 1990; Children’s social consciousness and the development of social responsibility, University of New York Press, New York,1997; Leadership for social justice and democracy in our schools, Corwin Press, Thousand Oaks, CA, pp. 123–144, 2011) emphasized the importance of education for social responsibility in school and classroom and defined it as personal investment in the well-being of others. Vallaeys (GUNI Report of Higher Education in the World 5:88–96, 2014) discussed social responsibility as a matter of university mission and function. Berman (Leadership for social justice and democracy in our schools, Corwin Press, Thousand Oaks, CA, pp. 123–144, 2011) related the concept of social responsibility to the development of social consciousness that meant balancing on personal self-realization and personal achievement with equal focus on social self-realization and collective achievement. In particular, a person becomes conscious that personal development (i.e. How will I lead my life?) is interrelated with the development of others (i.e. What does the way I lead my life mean for the life of others?). In this case, social responsibility embraces cultural values and creates empowerment, cooperation, compassion, and respect.
The contemporary world is marked by numerous new challenges: growth of inequality, migration, development of new technologies, climate change. All of them create tensions among nations, social groups or cultures. In the face of growing multiculturalism and need for dialogue, social responsibility as a concept in the educational field has received due attention. For instance, Berman (1990, 1997, 2011) emphasized the importance of education for social responsibility in school and classroom and defined it as personal investment in the well-being of others. Vallaeys (2014) discussed social responsibility as a matter of university mission and function. Berman (2011) related the concept of social responsibility to the development of social consciousness that meant balancing on personal self-realization and personal achievement with equal focus on social self-realization and collective achievement. In particular, a person becomes conscious that personal development (i.e. How will I lead my life?) is interrelated with the development of others (i.e. What does the way I lead my life mean for the life of others?). In this case, social responsibility embraces cultural values and creates empowerment, cooperation, compassion, and respect.
Some researchers looked at different meanings of social responsibility (Dahlsrud 2008; Vallaeys 2018) and found that most of them attempt to take a social and citizenship approach to social responsibility as a meaningful action towards society. The United Nations (2013) highlight education for social responsibility at school level as a value-driven way for school development that encourages students to become more effective and compassionate individuals, prepared for the challenges of leadership and responsibility beyond their school environment. In the context presented above, we see education for social responsibility as a creation of a bridge of communality which connects people from different stakeholders, diverse activities, diverse cultures, different personalities, etc. Education for citizenship, which is of the same importance as education for social responsibility, is seen as a creative way for every personality willing and able to participate in building this type of bridge which leads to a socially responsible, more coherent and sustainable social environment for everyone, especially those who are different in times of multiculturalism. This understanding deepens and adds more value to understanding the extended cultural literacy concept which helps to disclose that people feel involved in co-creating and supporting lives not only for themselves but for others as well.
We argue that social responsibility is an important attitude and action used to support the concept of citizenship. Strengthening education for active participation in schools could provide a much stronger framework for developing sustainability, and also intercultural cooperation for seeking common purposes in a rapidly changing and multicultural world. Thus, we raise the research question: What is the role of social responsibility in education for cultural literacy and how the concept of “social responsibility” is manifested in education policy documents?
To answer this research question, we used data from the DIALLS project. The authors of the paper, who are members of the DIALLS research team at Vilnius University, consider education for citizenship and education for social responsibility to be strongly interconnected with cultural literacy learning as it is understood and presented by the DIALLS project. It should help young people in schools to build up more dialogic, friendlier, more active, more respectful, and responsible communities and civic societies through empathy, tolerance and inclusion.
3.2 Social Responsibility in the Contexts of Cultural Literacy Learning and Education for Citizenship
Social responsibility is one of the cornerstones in the Cultural Literacy conceptual structure, composed by the DIALLS group (see Chapter 1 for overview). At present, due to the possibility to study abroad and be part of a more globalized educational network, students live in multicultural societies and have not only the opportunity, but also the responsibility of communicating with people from cultural and national backgrounds that differ from theirs. Accordingly, they need adequate education. The concept of literacy nowadays is changing rapidly and is understood not as singular and autonomous skill progression of learning to read and write, but it is in its essence “social practice” (Street 1984; Carter 2006). The concept of cultural literacy is also changing, and its understanding has radically turned from Hirsch (1980, 1989), who was the pioneer of the concept, to becoming much more sensitive towards communication, dialogue and social responsibility (Maine et al. 2019). Moreover, the first Cultural Literacy Education CLE conference (April 16–18, 2015, London) concluded that cultural literacy is a key societal challenge for now and the future and that social and cultural issues are seen side by side through the lens of literary thinking, employing communication, comparison and critique.Footnote 1 The concept of cultural literacy has been transformed partly using Freire’s (2017) ideas towards critical and dialogic thinking, existential perception of action and events, and growth of reflection by turning attention to social responsibility. Presenting the ideas and purposes of the CLE, Segal (2015) stresses contemporary contexts of cultures that face migration, biopolitics, biosociality and unequal body treatment in different societies, and growth of new types of problems, which is why it is important to foster human rights and social responsibility.
Education for social responsibility started being perceived neither as a way to ensure higher professional prestige among companies, as it was around the nineteenth and twentieth centuries (Crave et al. 2014), nor as a way to increase power, which was treated as foundation given the development of Corporate Social Responsibility in 1960 (Davis 1960). In discussing the concept of “social responsibility”, some contemporary researchers (Hussain and Gonen 2017) point to the emotional approach which is generated from love, care and empathy. Thus, responsibility incorporates the emotional ability to empathize with others and understand their otherness, which means to put oneself in the place of another. Attention to social responsibility in education increased following Levinas’ (1998) philosophy of dialogue, in which he outlined openness to unfamiliar others. He directed the existentialist’s care for the world towards the care for the other, in that way giving priority to the social aspect. Practice caring as the main moral value in Levinas’ view leads towards a socially sustainable world. Empathy to the “Unfamiliar Other” in the perspective of Levinas has been broadly reflected in those times and later, for example by Levin (1998), Biesta (2003) and Strhan (2012), and it is even more important to discuss it nowadays (Baranova and Duobliene 2019), when cultural diversity in the world is growing and provoking unpredictable encounters.
The main authors (Putnam 2002; Tonge et al. 2012; Martinache and Gobert 2020) researching citizenship education, cooperation, civic participation and engagement strengthen different forms of civic activism. However, most of these forms and actions are related to cognitive and practical approaches. Analysis of the works of mentioned authors showed that, theoretically, education for citizenship does not necessarily incorporate an emotional approach that represents the cornerstone of “social responsibility”.
Looking into tendencies shifting educational perspectives, the outcome document of the Technical Consultation on global citizenship education “Global Citizenship Education—An Emerging Perspective” (2013) appears to shift the educational perspective and leads to the main competences of global citizenship, partly trying to cover the emotional dimension in the developmental process of learner skills, including: non-cognitive social skills (empathy and conflict resolution), communicative skills and aptitudes for networking and interacting with people of different backgrounds, origins, cultures and perspectives; behavioral capacities to act collaboratively and responsibly, and to strive for collective good. It is clear that even global citizenship cannot be avoided by supervision of social responsibility. Furthermore, we found the importance of social responsibility versus citizenship in the UNESCO Strategy “Education 2030 Incheon Declaration and Framework for Action for the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 4” (2015). Target 4.7 of this document reads that all learners should promote sustainable development through education, sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and cultural contribution to sustainable development. Social responsibility then becomes a particularly important concept for the understanding of the Global Citizenship and Cultural Literacy.
Theoretical and education policy discourse analysis shows that social responsibility is undoubtedly significant for teaching cultural literacy across European schools and all over the world. In the time of rapid changes, imbalances in nature and an aggressive human relationship with it, new waves of human migration, robotization of organic life, and the high speed of IT development and flows of information, humanity is facing injustice, insensibility and manipulation in social and cultural life, especially in social networks. Responsibility becomes one of the most important values in multicultural communication as well as in dealing/living with others, especially those who are different. As Segal claims (2011, 275), “nature may give us the basic tools to be empathic and socially responsible, but we need social guidance to do so collectively on an ongoing basis” and that cannot work out of the context. The authors of this paper would argue that it cannot work out of the cultural context and based on cultural literacy, which is also emphasized by DIALLS.
That is why “social responsibility” occupies a significant part and has a special role in the composition of other elements of culture-related concepts united within the Cultural Analysis Framework developed as part of the DIALLS project.
The examination of national policy documentation was conducted as a qualitative conceptual analysis, extended with a quantification of the chosen concepts. This methodological choice is motivated by a constructivist perspective on concepts, emphasizing their contested, controversial, and transforming nature (e.g. Koselleck 2002; Guzzini 2005). According to Guzzini (2005), a constructivist conceptual analysis not only enables analytical assessment (i.e. what exactly it is meant by the concept that is used), but also encourages understanding of the performative aspects of the concepts (i.e. what does the concept might do). Therefore, the chosen approach not only enables clear understandings of the concepts and its variables, but also stimulates reflection on their performative nature, i.e. what particular concept can achieve in educational politics and practice. Based on a constructivist perspective, concepts are considered as a part of language that is also performative (Guzzini, 2005). The performative view of language makes meaning of words and signs in relation to reality, humans and artifacts (Guzzini 2005; Barinaga 2009). From this perspective, the concepts used in the national policy documentation are also seen as a performative part of educational policy language.
The analysis of the national policy documentation in this chapter encompasses five selected countries from nine participant countries of the DIALLS project—Cyprus, the United Kingdom, France, Finland, Germany, Lithuania, Spain, and Portugal. Firstly, the selection of countries was based on accessibility of the national policy documentation for the qualitative concept analysis in the English language. The latter criterion was essential for selecting countries and at the same time the most challenging one, as often national policy documents in each country are primarily written in the official language. Thus, based on these two criteria, five countries have been selected. It was possible to get access to the national policy documentation in English for Finland, Lithuania, the England and Spain, while Portugal has been selected following consultations and translation support from a Portuguese university participating in the DIALLS project.
The selection of the national education policy documents was carried out using the following criteria: (a) official documents that are applicable for the entire school system in the chosen country; (b) official documents that are the same or as similar as possible among all the selected countries; (c) official documents that are available in English. Based on these criteria, the chapter concentrates on 14 national policy documents that are relevant.Footnote 2 The selected documents provide an equivalent comparative analysis of these five countries.
The conceptual analysis of the education policy documentation in this chapter focuses on origin and performance of the concept of social responsibility. The concept analysis of the data was guided by theoretical views on constructivist perspectives on concepts, performativity of language and context. Therefore, the analysis not only focused on the concept of social responsibility, but also of the established overlap or relation of social responsibility concept with other culture-related concepts.Footnote 3 The analysis included the following questions: (a) How are the concepts defined: explicitly or implicitly? (b) What is the conceptual context of these concepts? (c) What is their cultural/societal context to which they are connected in the documents? (d) What is their relationship with the concept of social responsibility? The findings in the chapter are discussed in order to answer these questions.
The conceptual analysis of the national documents was carried out using MAXQDA18 software for qualitative and mixed methods data that can be used for data coding and retrieving coded segments. The MAXQDA software incorporates various data management features as well as various visual tools for data analysis. The relation between social responsibility and other culture-related concepts in the national policy documents at issue are visualized using Code Maps.
Code Maps reveal an overlap of different concepts (coded segments) in the national policy documentation. In particular, the more similar the concepts are in terms of their use in a particular national policy document, the closer they are placed together on the map. The circles symbolize the concepts with the distances between two concepts representing how similarly the concepts have been applied in the document. The larger the circles are, the more assignments have been made with the particular concept. The connecting lines between different concepts indicate which codes overlap or co-occur in the document. The thicker the connection lines are displayed, the more coincidences there are between two concepts. The connection line between two concepts appears if there are at least two frequencies between these concepts in one segment of the document.
3.4 Findings: Manifestation of Social Responsibility Through Citizenship, Cooperation and Participation
There are other scientific analyses about the significance of the social responsibility concepts for the educational systems in the selected countries. For instance, Rauhansalo and Kvieska (2017) analyzed the significance of social studies and social subjects in the Finnish educational system and revealed that the Finnish National Board of Education identifies social studies as a critical element for the basics of democracy education, like equality, respect for human rights, social responsibility and freedom of opinions. Another example is the Teaching Personal and Social Responsibility model proposed by Hellison (2003). It represents one of the most consistent intervention programs that can be applied in physical education classes, and which has been widely explored in the Spanish education context (e.g. Escartí et al., 2010; Carbonero et al. 2017). However, surprisingly, social responsibility as a single two-term concept does not appear in the analysed national policy documentation of any of the five countries. Moreover, looking into the national policy documentation, it is difficult to identify clear reasons why the term of social responsibility (or social and responsible) does not appear there.
Having analysed Finland’s national documents, we found the closest relation between social and responsible in the statement of national goals of the Finnish education. Specifically, the first national goal of education that steers the preparation of the National Core Curriculum is identified as Growth as a human being and membership in society (The Core Curriculum of Basic Education 2014). The description of this goal specifically states that “supporting the pupils’ growth as human beings and into ethically responsible members of society is a central goal” (The Core Curriculum of Basic Education 2014, 25). We could grasp another close occurrence of social and responsible in the profiles of social studies curricular subjects. However, in all these cases the relation between social and responsible is more implicit than explicit as co-occurrences of the terms social and responsible are barely linked to each other. The co-occurrences presuppose close relation between society and individual’s responsibility. However, social and responsibility more often occur as two separate terms or concepts in the Finnish documents.
Similarly, in the national documentation of Lithuania, the co-occurrences of the terms social and responsible are not used as united, but rather as supplementary or separate elements. For example, there is an obvious distinction between two concepts in the Lithuanian Law on Education (2016) where responsibility is related to the formation of a human being, while the social element is exceptionally significant for modern social competence of an individual. These two terms also occur in the Curriculum Framework of Primary and Basic Education of Lithuania (2008) where educating a responsible citizen is related to pupils’ social integration and lifelong learning.
In the education policy documentation of the England and Spain, social and responsible basically occur in the descriptions of citizenship education. The England’s Secondary Education Curriculum (2013) explicitly states that citizenship should “equip pupils with the skills and knowledge to explore political and social issues critically [--] and should also prepare pupils to take their place in society as responsible citizens” (59). These two terms are also incorporated in the aim of education where educating a responsible citizen is related to pupils’ social integration and lifelong learning. Similarly, in the case of Spain, it is explicitly indicated that “[--] education is the most effective way of guaranteeing the exercise of democratic, responsible, free and active citizenship, which is essential for the constitution of an advanced, dynamic and equitable society (the Spanish Law on Education 2006, 13). Yet, in both countries the concepts of responsible citizens and social issues generally occur not as a single element, but as complementary principles of citizenship education.
The concept of social responsibility in Portugal’s Law on the Education System (1986, 2009) is also implicitly related to social or civic citizenship. The Portuguese Students’ Profile at the End of Compulsory Education (2017) also repeatedly states that the conceptual framework of a pupil orients towards training of autonomous, responsible and engaged citizens who are not only self-aware, but also conscious of others and the world and become active participants in society.
The analysis reveals that, in general, social responsibility as a singular concept occasionally occurs in the national documents. These two concepts are regularly considered as complementary or separate aspects in school education. In generalizing the dominant meaning of social responsibility among all the selected countries, we could state that being socially responsible means being a human and a natural member of society. In this case, social responsibility is interlinked with individual responsibility. However, such a rare reference to the concept of social responsibility in the national policy documentation of all five countries inevitably minimizes its significant contribution to promoting and practicing cultural literacy and making sense of Europe. Yet, this concept manifests in the national policy documentation through other culture-related concepts that will be analysed below. Meanwhile, the concept of cultural literacy is rarely visible in the analysed documents of all countries and, therefore, is hardly related to social responsibility.
Looking into the overlap of social responsibility with other culture-related concepts in the National Curriculum (or Curriculum Framework) of the selected countries, we can see a variety of combinations. For example, in the National Curriculum of Finland, the concept of cooperation is the most frequent among all the analysed concepts (588)Footnote 4 and, therefore, could be considered a core concept that forms relations with various other concepts (see Fig. 3.1).
It can be clearly seen in the code map that social responsibility also overlaps with cooperation. In particular, social responsibility together with cooperation and citizenship establish a cluster (i.e. light grey concept cycles in the Fig. 3.1) that shows the closest co-occurrence of these three concepts in the National Curriculum of Basic Education of Finland. We can also see other clusters: the cluster of cultural heritage, culture and multiculturalism, and the cluster of participation, inclusion and identity. However, these two clusters do overlap only with the dominant concept of cooperation, while social responsibility co-occurs only with two concepts in the same cluster.
Interestingly, the concept of cultural literacy does not appear in the code map of Finland. Generally, the concept of cultural literacy is mentioned only twice in this document and is related to another concept that does not belong to any of the analysed culture-related concepts, i.e. to multiliteracy. Specifically, the concept of cultural literacy is mentioned both times as one of literacies (together with analytic and critical literacies) integrated into multiliteracy. As cultural literacy relates to multiliteracy, the meaning of this concept is related to producing, interpreting, and analyzing oral, written or visual cultural (or culture-related) texts. Thus, cultural literacy is rarely related to any of the cluster of concepts that we see on the concept map.
The National Plan of Education and Citizenship of Portugal (see Fig. 3.2) also shows similar co-occurrences of social responsibility and other culture-related concepts.
The code map demonstrates that social responsibility occurs in a cluster (light grey colour) together with many other culture-related concepts—cooperation, identity, citizenship, inclusion and cultural dialogue. In the documents at issue, social responsibility is placed closely to identity and cooperation, yet, the closest co-occurrence of social responsibility is seen only with the particular meaning of the citizenship concept (a connecting line between these two concepts)—citizenship as a subject of the Citizenship and Development curricular unit. The content of this curricular subject is based on three main axes: personal civic attitude (identity as a citizen, individual autonomy, human rights); interpersonal relations (communication, dialogue); social and intercultural relations (democracy, sustainable human development, globalization and interdependence, peace and conflict management). Social responsibility implicitly manifests through all three axes, but especially, through the third one—social and intercultural relations. However, the overlap of these two concepts in the document is predictive as the concept of citizenship is the most visible concept (104) in the analysed document that focuses on citizenship education. Thus, citizenship becomes an umbrella concept that co-occurs with other concepts, including social responsibility.
At the same time, cultural literacy does not appear in the Portuguese National Plan for Education for Citizenship. Cultural literacy as a term appears only in the Student’s Profile at the End of Compulsory Education (2017). The document states that after school education every pupil should become
…a citizen endowed with cultural, scientific and technological literacy, able to critically question reality, to assess and select information, to make assumptions, and capable of making decisions based on the daily experience. (The Student’s Profile at the End of Compulsory Education, 10)
However, it is a single segment that refers to cultural literacy; we could hardly grasp any manifestation of this particular concept in any other part of this national policy document of Portugal.
Likewise, the relationship between social responsibility and citizenship clearly manifests in the curricula documents of Lithuania and Spain. Interestingly, in both cases social responsibility forms a cluster only with this particular concept, i.e. these two concepts are placed closely to each other, yet they do not intersect. It suggests that both concepts supplement each other in the analysed documents, especially in the case of Spain, as the occurrence of both concepts is displayed in a similar position (Figs. 3.3 and 3.4).
The code maps reveal other similarities shared by these two countries. We do see occurrences of analogous concepts and there are three clusters in each case that hardly overlap with each other (no connecting lines among any of the concepts). Furthermore, in both cases there is no manifestation of cultural literacy. In the case of Lithuania, the concept of cultural literacy marginally manifests (2) only in the Law on Education (1991/2016) as socio-cultural maturity or general literacy. Both times the concept is mentioned for the purpose of (basic and secondary) education, but it is not explicitly defined:
The purpose of basic education shall be to provide an individual with the basics of moral, sociocultural and civic maturity, general literacy, the basics of technological literacy, to cultivate national consciousness, to foster an intent and ability to make decisions and choices and to continue learning. (1991/2016, 12)
As seen from the stated purpose of basic education, sociocultural maturity is mentioned in relation to the concepts of morality and citizenship, whereas general and technological literacies here are mentioned separately. In the case of Spain, however, the concept of cultural literacy does not appear in any of the analysed national documents.
Finally, in the case of the England, we found only one cluster that encompasses three concepts—social responsibility, citizenship, and participation, whereas other analysed culture-related concepts do not form any intersections. However, the close placement of all three concepts in the National Curriculum Framework of Secondary Education (2013) is a specific one. The concept of citizenship is an umbrella concept that encompasses participation and social responsibility. In particular, the latter two concepts appear in the profile of the citizenship education curricular subject. Here social responsibility and participation are related to one of the concrete activities—volunteering—that stimulates the formation of an active citizen.
The national curriculum for citizenship aims to ensure that all pupils:
[--] develop an interest in, and commitment to, participation in volunteering as well as other forms of responsible activity, that they will take with them into adulthood develop an interest in, and commitment to, participation in volunteering as well as other forms of responsible activity, that they will take with them into adulthood. [--] (The National Curriculum Framework of Secondary Education 2013, 59)
Interestingly enough, the England’s National Curriculum of Secondary Education (2013) is the only document where social responsibility is in close placement with the concept of participation. Nevertheless, participation also manifests in the code maps of other countries (except Spain). In the cases of Finland and Portugal, we can see an obvious intersection of participation and citizenship. The latter concept is the dominant one in relation to social responsibility in all selected countries; thus, it clearly manifests in relation to social responsibility. As citizenship is in close placement with participation, we could also relate social responsibility to participation more closely than to cooperation. The concept of cooperation occurs only in the code map of Finland and could be considered in a more fragmental intersection than participation.
Education policy discourse and literature analysis demonstrates the crucial role of the change of understanding of “social responsibility” in the contemporary world. Social responsibility builds bridges between different cultures and keeps their communication alive, transforming passivity into activity and creating conditions for living and working together for well-being in the future. Although social responsibility is one of the most important components of cultural literacy, the interrelation between cultural literacy and social responsibility is not clearly defined in educational policy discourse and literature. That is because understanding of cultural literacy is changing very fast, depending on changes in the world, the appearance of new social, cultural and economic challenges. If cultural literacy was first introduced and understood as a set of knowledge, later regarded as the skills for cultural communication, today it would be much more related to social actions towards implementation of common understanding for living together with those “who are different”, creating culture of dialogue and empathy.
Even though the significance of social responsibility for education is obvious, the conceptual analysis showed that this particular concept is hardly visible and present in the national education policy documentation of the selected EU countries. Surprisingly, the performance of social responsibility as a single two-term concept is sporadic in the national policy documentation of all five analysed countries. Moreover, looking into the national policy documentation, it is difficult to identify clear reasons why the term of social responsibility (or social and responsible as two separate, but inter-related concepts) does not appear. The analysis captured only some possible manifestations of social responsibility that mainly refers to being a human and a mature member of society. Therefore, it raises question: what this concept can achieve in educational politics and practice? The analysis of the relationship between social responsibility and other culture-related concepts demonstrated that the latter concept in one way or another tends to relate to three other concepts—citizenship, cooperation and/or participation. The qualitative analysis revealed that all four concepts are often overlapping, porous, and supplementing each other. However, the relations between all concepts are not equivalent.
Commonly, citizenship and social responsibility have a solid interconnection. Citizenship becomes the dominant concept in the selected national policy documentation of the five countries that comprises other culture-related concepts and social responsibility. Specifically, citizenship refers to the formation or growth of an active, responsible and democratic citizen who also actively participates as a responsible member of society. However, the relation between social responsibility and cooperation and participation is more porous. On the one hand, it is possible to state that active membership of a responsible citizen undoubtedly manifests through a person’s actual participation and cooperation in school life and afterwards in social as well as civic life. Yet, on the other hand, the concepts of social and responsible in the national policy documentation of the five countries frequently appear not as united, but as two supplementary elements that are not necessarily interrelated. Besides, cooperation and participation usually manifest not as equivalents, but as components of active citizenship. Therefore, the relation between social responsibility and these two concepts is unstable.
In comparison with citizenship, the qualitative analysis revealed that cultural literacy is rarely visible in the national policy documentation of the selected countries. Other concepts occurring in the documents—participation and cooperation—are not relevant to the cultural literacy concept. Such a rare appearance of cultural literacy inevitably minimizes the significant contribution of this concept not only to social responsibility, but also to other culture-related concepts. The discourse in education policy documentation utilized a broad variety of possible meanings of the analysed concepts that might have crucial importance for cultural literacy and citizenship. However, the analysis revealed that the education policy documentation in the countries at issue seeks to guide education administration and teachers through the concepts, the meanings of which are rarely defined, explained or related to cultural literacy or such concepts as culture or cultural heritage. Therefore, it is hard to confirm that social responsibility is actually on the agenda for cultural literacy learning. The analysis revealed how the education policy documentation seeks to guide education administration and teachers through extremely broad and ambiguous concepts, the meanings of which varied even within the same document.
Responding to the findings of the presented research study, we would recommend that national education policy makers, researchers and practitioners reflect on analytical and performative aspects of the concept of social responsibility, i.e. how it appears in the national policy documentation, what it means and what these meanings can do in practice. Moreover, social responsibility is the bedrock of cultural literacy learning, development and usage of citizenship participatory skills in everyday life emphasizing not only rational, but also strong emotional dimensions.
The CLE Forum was established on the basis of LCS (Literary and Cultural Studies). More information: https://cleurope.eu/.
The list of all selected documents appears after the list of references.
The culture-related concepts were identified in the planning phase of the project as a key for intercultural dialogue and cultural literacy. This list is based on the previous experience and expertise of team members from the University of Jyväskylä and Vilnius University representing different scholarly approaches, also the list is based on the literature review and the development of the notion of cultural literacy. The key culture-related concepts that address different aspects of cultural literacy have been listed in the DIALLS Grant Agreement (2018). The concepts are cultural literacy, culture, value/values, cultural heritage, identity, inclusion, empathy, tolerance, multiculturalism, intercultural dialogue, citizenship, participation and cooperation (Lähdesmäki et al. 2018).
In the analysis, the quantitative frequency of the particular concept is given in the brackets.
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Maine, F., V. Cook, and T. Lähdesmäki. 2019. Reconceptualizing cultural literacy as a dialogic practice. London Review of Education 17 (3): 384–393. https://doi.org/10.18546/LRE.17.3.12.
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Kairė, S., Duoblienė, L., Zaleskienė, I. (2021). Social Responsibility Through the Lens of an Agenda for Cultural Literacy Learning: Analyses of National Education Policy Documentation. In: Maine, F., Vrikki, M. (eds) Dialogue for Intercultural Understanding. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-71778-0_3
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