Trends and Dilemmas in Citizenship Education
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionNordidactica. 2013, (1), 180-200.
This article elaborates some important trends and discussions in citizenship education. It seems that there are strong arguments from scientific scholars which express opposition to a focus on only formal facts and democratic procedures in the teaching of citizenship education. This approach is also criticized by students for its meaninglessness and irrelevance. There also seems to be relative agreement that democracies are being challenged for various reasons, that school plays an important role in citizenship education, that republicanism is the preferred framework, and that students construct their own views of the world (constructivist learning processes). Despite this rather general agreement, there remain quite a few important dilemmas and also disagreements in the field of citizenship education. Among these are: the conceptualization of democracy, the knowledge to be presented, adopting a national versus a global perspective, the maturity of young citizens regarding the question of multiculturalism, and approaches to teaching (particularly providing room for criticism). These and other dilemmas are discussed, and a summary of recommendations is put forward.