Curriculum as Citizenship

  • What examples of citizenship education do you remember from your K-12 schooling? I do not remember learning any examples of citizenship education in my K – 12 schooling. I’m not sure if it is because it has been along time since I was in the K – 12 system, or if it was because there wasn’t much/any learning about citizenship. One thing this points out is that they’re clearly wasn’t any meaningful citizenship education because if there was, perhaps I would have some recollection.
  • What types of citizenship (e.g. which of the three types mentioned in the article) were the focus? I don’t recall a specific type of citizenship, but from reading the article I would be forced to assume that they personally responsible citizen is what has been focused on in the K-12 system. There were certainly never discussions or encouragement regarding protests or doing more for our community other than the bare minimum of voting, paying taxes, and shovelling the sidewalk for the senior centre if you were a really good kid.
  • Explore what this approach to the curriculum made (im)possible in regards to citizenship. The personally responsible citizen approach creates complacent citizens in society. From the observation of others, and even a critical reflection of myself, shows that most of us don’t even do a good job at being a personally responsible citizen. The next level of citizenship would be a more active role in the community, such as fundraising for groups in need and organizing community initiatives. Not many people are in this category, and those who are are often heavily glorified for their community contributions. Perhaps this shouldn’t be a glorified role, but taught in schools to be more of an expectation. The personally responsible citizen promotes a very independent way of thinking about oneself whereas the participatory citizen focuses more on the community as a whole. Citizens who are justice oriented are seen as radical and unfavourable as they are viewed as rebellious. There is a stigma against those who rally against government- treated as if they are a bunch of bandits out to “get” people. In reality, this is actually an exercise of our rates. For example, the protest of the sentencing for the Colton Boushie and Tina Fontaine murder cases should never be seen as rebellious but rather an act of solidarity and justice for those who have been silenced for too long. Though protesting itself is not taught to be a way of social progress, we forget that most social progress has been made from people taking a stand for what is right. Perhaps if there was more encouragement to be a participatory or justice oriented citizen, we would see more justice in our schools and communities.

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