Citizenship Education: Cultivating a Critical Capacity to Implement Universal Values Nationally
Authors: Katarzyna Twarog
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Citizenship and citizenship education face challenges due to globalizing factors affecting modern liberal-democratic states. Earlier models of citizenship, which were based on assimilation into the dominant society, have been challenged by scholars seeking to create a fuller understanding of citizenship more inclusive of diversity. This paper addresses the works of Martha Nussbaum and James A. Banks who present two possibilities for citizenship education: purified patriotism (Nussbaum) and transformative citizenship education (Banks). By considering values, identity and the national narrative, this paper compares their views in relation to these topics as well as gives supporting and opposing ideas from other scholars. It concludes by stating that these authors share a common commitment to the need for a critical civic culture, which in turn requires a willingness and openness on the part of all citizens to use their imagination and help foster the critical capacity to think anew. In this way, the traditional dichotomous debate over citizenship, values and identity within the nation and the world might be transformed. By utilizing what Freire refers to as deliberative dialogue, we can foster creative solutions to ensure that universal values of justice, tolerance, recognition and equality are not merely democratic ideals, but are practiced by all individuals and institutions. Furthermore, this paper addresses the need for a teacher training program which would teach educators how to promote and endorse a critical culture through dialogue within the classroom and create citizens who are capable of using their imagination and critical thinking to function cooperatively within a multicultural society.