Week 7

What kind of Citizen? The Politics of Educating for Democracy]: 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. What does the approach we take to citizenship instruction in any given place tell us about that place? About what the curriculum makers value? About what kinds of citizens they want to produce?

Looking back on my K-12 schooling, citizen education was embedded, whether it was intended or not. The most obvious one is learning about politics and the government in social studies. We learnt about voting and its importance through elections Canada where students could cast a vote in the elections. This was intentional learning. As for unintentional learning, we learnt about voting again in SRC campaigns where there was a President and a VP. These examples would fit into the justice-oriented citizen. I can also remember the emphasis on being a good person throughout all of my schoolings but mostly in the younger grades. “The golden rule” seemed to be a huge theme in my elementary school, which can fit into the personally-responsible citizen. Lastly, the phrase “what you will get out of school depends on how much you put into it” sticks out when thinking about my education experience. As a student, you are expected to be involved in class, and some students take that further and participate in SRC or on sports teams. These are all ways of being an active community member, a large component of a participatory citizen. 

These approaches to curriculum regarding citizenship allow students to find out what kind of citizen they are or want to be. Whether a student decides to vote, follow the rules, or be an active member of the school community is up to them, which largely speaks to the democratic country that we live in. I believe that if residents don’t get the choice of what kind of citizen they would like to be it would end up in resentment to the government and the community. This kind of government will produce law-abiding citizens however there will be a lack of personality, debate and conversation.

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