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The fate of citizenship education

1 December 1992


The research presented in the text "The Fate of Citizenship Education" is important to the future of education. Research done, indicates that schools are no longer carrying the load in terms of creating citizens that are informed and involved in the democratic process. This trend needs to be reversed, and students need to be encouraged to be responsible and to make informed choices, and schools should involve students in choices that effect them.

The paper begins by outlining various approaches to the educating of citizenship. These approaches are as follows: the classical view, which proposes teaching the Constitutional principles of citizenship, the experiential approach, which proposes the teaching of citizenship by doing, for example, community service, and the union of the approaches, which starts by teaching the principles, or ideas of citizenship and then learning the skills to implement them.

The study continues by discussing the observations made at a junior high school in the Pacific Northwest. These observations were the bulk of the data which was then analyzed. The observations in this school revealed much. The concept of school as an institution that creates a docile citizenry, is not too far from the truth. This school encouraged the blind acceptance of authority, and did not encourage students to think critically or make choices for themselves.

The conclusion of the study encouraged teachers in the future to infuse citizenship education and issues into their curriculum, and to advocate for a renewed interest and enthusiasm for creating well-informed participants in this democracy.


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