Monday, 17 December 2012

Promoting “Active Citizens”? Confronting educational policies with the views of NGOs

Humanity in Action participated in a research project entitled “Participatory Citizenship Education in Transitional Societies” that aims at a wider understanding about Citizenship Education across Europe, and particularly whether educational policies, curricula and practices emphasise a political culture that values citizens’ active and critical participation.

From this research emerged a journal article titled "Promoting ‘active citizens’? The critical vision of NGOs over citizenship education as an educational priority across Europe" that was published in the International Journal of Progressive Education, Volume 8 Number 3, Oct 2012. The paper confronts educational policies with the views of NGOs in 20 European countries.

Download the journal here – the article starts at p.32

A quote from the summary:
“In the last decades, Citizenship Education (CE) has been at the forefront of both educational Policies and international research regarding curriculum design and impact on knowledge, values and skills. However, not only what citizenship “is”, is diversely conceived by different democratic traditions, but, obviously, CE also involves organisations beyond the walls of schools.
Results suggest that the vision of CE as a priority in educational policy documents is questioned by NGOs that consider schools are too focused on formal democracy and overemphasize respect for rules, values and responsibilities, rather than promoting critical, informed and active citizens. Especially in countries with an authoritarian past, NGOs consider that models of conformism and submission are still dominant, and emphasize the role of CE in promoting a strong civil society.“