Curriculum as Citizenship

Prompt: What examples of citizenship education do you remember from your K-12 schooling? What types of citizenship (e.g. which of the three types mentioned in the article) were the focus? Explore what this approach to the curriculum made (im)possible in regards to citizenship.

Throughout my schooling my teachers were mostly trying to make us into personally responsible citizens. In social studies we were taught about war, genocide, and famine and it was obviously stressed that these things were bad and we want to prevent them. As younger children we were taught about recycling and the importance of volunteering. All of these things are wonderful, but they don’t promote participatory citizenship or the justice oriented citizen.

However, in grade 10 we had a wonderful teacher who promoted participatory citizenship and she had us start a fundraiser in order to build a school in Kenya! It took three years and the whole community got involved.

So, I was quite fortunate, but I still never felt like we reached the “justice oriented” citizenship. We were never taught that we have enough agency to actually change the system.

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