As Westheimer and Kahne detail in their article, the three types of citizenship are personally responsible, participatory, and justice oriented. I had not known of those terms or their distinct definitions and differences until reading the article and watching the associated video, but upon understanding them, I can decisively conclude that my schooling was oriented around personally responsible citizenship. As I spent grades 6 to 12 going to school in Palestine, my school leaned heavily towards community involvement surrounding helping the Palestinian cause. It’s a very complicated political and social issue, but having gone to school in Palestine, I was part of school programs geared towards helping Palestinians. We helped farmers pick olives, donated food and clothes on numerous occasions such as the 2014 Israel-Gaza conflict, and had classes specifically dedicated to understanding Palestinian history and the struggle for independence from Israel. The article mentions “[contributing] food to a food drive” as an action relating to being personally responsible citizenship oriented, and it was this that finalized my thought process on what my school geared itself around, as we participated in community events rather than planning them or coming up with alternative solutions.
The approaches taken to citizenship in education vary depending largely on the goals of the school and its authorities. Depending on the overall goals of the school and what it desires from its students, it will most likely gear towards one of the three aforementioned citizenship models. Being personally responsible, for example, helps gear students towards contributing to the workforce in a traditional manner, whereas being participatory involves a more independent approach on the students’ end and leads to them being more independent overall in their thought processes and work ethics. Justice oriented citizenship is a great fit for schools with unique models of education that do not adhere entirely to traditional methods, as it inspires even more independent thought in students and leads to future leaders and officials. The different models of citizenship all have their own merits in the end, and the school and responsible authorities such as teachers, trustees, and government officials make choices based on their needs and desires for the next generation.