Democratic Citizenship Education Refers to those approaches to schooling that are attentive to collective process and cultural inequalities. Informed mainly by the social sciences, it’s principal aims are to promote social justice and productive collect

 

That Crowd

Historically, we have known that the greatest wealth was earned and kept by the nobility.

Today, we can talk about ”economic nobility”, where the top ten percent of the population own as much wealth as the other 90%.

Social Class

Do we have such a thing?

Is it just too subtle for us to see?

 

 

Part of the Challenge

What this does in terms of our discussions around teaching and learning is to change the focus and have us rethink what we are doing with education and schooling.

Let’s face it

In some ways, many of you will find that our discussions about standardized and authentic education were easier ones to handle.

That being said, thinking around the democratic citizenship education is a conceptual reality.

The jig is up

No longer can we be content with preparing students for the workplace or life, we now are expected to take responsibility for social justice.

Formal Education

Formal education has proven itself to be a powerful force in social change.

 

Education

Forms identities, communities, and society.

It does not simply inform, but form.

 

A New Agenda

The agenda behind the discourse of democratic citizenship education is to reframe the role of the school.

We can see this when we better realize how the school actually participates in the creation of values and possibilities.

No Cog

The school is not simply a cog in the machine of society; it is a vibrant part in the process of cultural production.

Is that you, Hidden?

Many of you are familiar with the notion of a hidden curriculum.

Here we are talking about not only what is explicitly taught but also what is implicitly taught within schools.

That is, your students are taught far more than the contents listed in the program of studies and in curriculum outcomes.

Partiality

The critical issue for educators is not that humans are partial, but that humans so often fail to notice their partialities.

Such ignorance can open the doors for dangerous attitudes-believing that enough is known, being blind to enacted ideologies, not putting forward the effort to make sense of other worldviews, and so on.

Participation & Conscientization

These two terms are significant in our attempts to understand democratic citizenship education!

 

Powerful Concepts

The power of these two concepts gets further examined in discussions about the valued places of a psychology-driven approach to education and one that recognizes the value of the social and cultural phenomena. 

Culture

In democratic citizenship education the place of culture is very significant: we are not just psychological beings, we are social and cultural beings as well

Participatory Culture

This is where our understanding of the participatory culture becomes very important for our discussion here.

Part of the agenda in democratic citizenship is to help empower students to improve their circumstances, first by developing a critical understanding of the circumstances, and second by nurturing a sense of agency.

Teachers

The same can be said for Teachers!

 

 

Instructor Notes
Section 3.1: The Emergence of Democratic Citizenship Education

As we begin out discussion around Democratic Citizenship Education, we encourage you to review our PowerPoint presentation, read these notes, and have a look at pages 115 and 116 in Engaging Minds. The timeline at the top of p. 115 gives you a sense of when this moment in educational thinking came about. The following page gives a very helpful chart on key terms associated with the history and context of democratic citizenship education, along with key terms in relation to knowledge and learning, as well as significant concepts about teaching in this particular Moment.

Democratic citizenship education:

“refers to those approaches to schooling that are attentive to collective process and cultural inequalities. Informed by the social sciences, it’s principle aims are to promote social justice and productive collective action, in part though recognizing and (where appropriate) subverting hegemonic structures” (Davis, et al., 2015, p. 115).

During the last decade or so in education, we have heard a lot about social justice in terms of schooling, teaching and learning. We are familiar with discussions around how wealth is distributed in our society. Historically, we have known that the greatest wealth was earned and kept by the nobility. Today we can talk about “economic nobility”, where the top ten percent of the population own as much wealth as the other 90% (if you have the interest, there are many charts and videos that spell out the wealth disparity in North America). The place of social class is much more subtle today than it has been historically, but it is still an important distinction to be aware of.

As you do your writing this week, consider the work that Democratic Citizenship Education entails. While the film Paperclips provides an extraordinary example of a project that fulfills many of the components of this kind of work, have you experienced moments in your own teaching and learning that align with Democratic Citizenship Education?

The agenda behind the discourse of democratic citizenship education is to reframe the role of school. We can see this when we better realize how the school actually participates in the creation of values and possibilities. The school is not simply a cog in the machine of society, but rather it is a vibrant part in the process of cultural production. To this end, the notion of hidden curriculum will be something that most of you are familiar with. Here we are talking about not only what is explicitly taught but also what is implicitly taught within schools. It is important to remember that hidden curriculum does not point to a hidden agenda or deliberate, covert use of power. Rather it is more accurately described as “the limitations of human consciousness” (Davies et al., p. 121). That is, your students are taught far more than the contents listed in the program of studies and in curriculum outcomes.

In a related issue, in the coming weeks, we will see the claim that what one is taught cannot be separated by how one is taught. Remember that in the Standardized Moment on Education students were described as deficient and in need of being completed, filled, or corrected. Using the lens of Authentic Education students were recast in terms of being sufficient and schooling was designed to “elaborate their adequate-but-evolving webs of understanding” (P. 121). In Democratic Citizenship Education the student is cast neither as deficient nor sufficient. Here the learner is partial, incomplete and biased.

Hegemony is an important concept that is worth our attention. The authors are clear that the intent of Democratic Citizenship education is not to dismantle the social and political systems and structures that dominate and hold power, yet this frame of education does remain alert to power struggles where they exist. Another of the key points we have always appreciated from the earlier editions of Engaging Minds is that of partiality – that we only learn something in a partial way.

“The critical issue for educators is not that humans are partial, but that humans fail to notice partialities. Such ignorance can open doors for dangerous attitudes-believing that enough is known, being blind to enacted ideologies, not putting forward the effort of other world views, and so on” (Davis et al., 2015, p. 122).

Such insights as partiality only add to our view that education is both tangled and complex (in many ways, it is much more comfortable to teach in a standardized moment).

The topic of participation is often discussed in sociocultural theories of learning, and conscientization gets emphasized in critical pedagogy. These two terms are significant in our attempts to understand democratic citizenship education. The power of these two concepts gets further examined in discussions about the valued places of psychology-driven approach to education and one that recognizes the value of the social and cultural phenomena. In democratic citizenship education, the place of culture cannot be overemphasized: we are not just psychological beings we are also social beings. This is where our understanding of the participatory of culture becomes critical. Part of the agenda of democratic citizenship is to empower students to improve their circumstances, first by developing a critical understanding of the circumstances, and second by nurturing a sense of agency. Of course, the same can be said of teachers.

Check out the following:

Paper clips (refer to module Overview Guide)

3 Rules to spark Language Learning [6:29]
https://www.ted.com/talks/ramsey_musallam_3_rules_to_spark_learning?language=en

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