Relationship between civic education and citizenship

Citizenship Education for the 21st Century

relationship between civic education and citizenship

Abstract: Civic and citizenship education is a component of the .. [27] have shown the positive relationship between media consumption. Citizenship and civic education: the Australian policy context This paper explores the relationship between citizenship, community. The ultimate goal of citizenship education is to promote civic engagement and a paradox to be explained in any examination of the relationship between.


It is essential to recall that students are one of the key stakeholder groups — regardless of age or level — and they need to be involved in the decision making.

Is this CCE product best delivered in or out of formal classrooms? The answer here is that CCE is most effectively delivered through both. Premium delivery requires a synthesising of the whole life of the school around the larger educational goals.

It should involve classroom teaching, modelling of democratic school governance, and out-of-classroom activities. Only in this manner can the learning outcomes of both parts of the assessment domains be met. How do we link the extracurricular activities with the classroom curriculum? To date, in Australia in CCE deliver, schools have generally favoured either a stand-alone classroom curriculum unit or an outside-classroom activity program, and have failed to link the two.

Little evidence exists of such programs providing long-lasting effects. So this approach will not suffice in the future, because it does not result in civic learning outcomes, even where some citizenship learning outcomes occur.

relationship between civic education and citizenship

Without the contextual or evidential bases, students do not learn. For effective CCE learning a program linking both extracurricular activities with the classroom curriculum is necessary. How do we avoid student cynicism about CCE and school governance? Schools need to provide all students with opportunities to actively participate, in classrooms and in school governance.

Teachers need to model good citizenship, and schools need to provide models of, and practice in, democratic decision making. The core of Citizenship education is that all stakeholders be empowered, and once schools teach the substance of such a curriculum, they will find that students will want opportunities to practise what they've been taught about democracy and governance, about participation and engagement.

To deny them this is to risk cynicism in students. How do we address the pedagogical challenges? The most intense pedagogic CCE conundrum lies in Citizenship in secondary schools.

How can schools and teachers ensure that students learn in a negotiative way what they need to know about democracy when most students say they are not interested in knowing anything about it? Of course kids have to learn lots of things in school they neither like nor appreciate until later when they understand their relevance.

Similarly in CCE, only here it is harder, because we are asking them to care as well as learn. It is a very big ask if they have not already gained some civic knowledge in primary school, and realise that democracy can be weakened by disengagement. It helps a lot if students believe they can make a difference in their own place. They need to feel engaged and practise engagement in their school life. When outside-classroom CCE opportunities, such as participation in school governance, are provided, student interest in formal civic knowledge generally increases, as it is seen to be more relevant to them.

Considerable evidence exists to suggest that student beliefs in the value of their democratic institutions rises as their civic knowledge increases. Which Australian teachers can teach CCE?


There are two issues to be distinguished here. One is that Australian teachers, as a cohort, do not possess the required civic knowledge, and few teacher training institutions are prioritising pre-training in the area.

Of the twenty topics they deemed central to Civics education, up to one-third of the Australian teachers surveyed reported they felt not at all confident to teach them. If a school is intending to implement a CCE program it will need teachers competent to teach it. In the light of teachers' description of their competence to teach Civics, each school should seek out a lead teacher with an interest in the area, and provide them with professional development.

In the last seven years, hundreds of Australian teachers have received CCE professional development, funded through the Discovering Democracy program. Schools should find their trained teacher and have them professionally develop the rest of the staff. The second issue relates to the importance of enhancing the open-classroom pedagogic capacity of the teaching profession and the development of skills in meshing classroom and whole-school activities in order to meet the learning outcomes referenced in the National Goals.

It relates to the need for teachers to better understand the importance of modelling democratic behaviours in teaching their students CCE competencies and knowledge. This pedagogy is not intuitive to most teachers, especially secondary teachers, and many tend to believe that CCE is just part of SOSE! Professional development will help with this foolishness! The National Center for Education Statistics estimates that 83 percent of high schools and 77 percent of middle schools have students participating in community service activities in the early twenty-first century.

Concerns And Issues If Americans are agreed that the primary purpose of schools is to "educate people for responsible citizenship," then one would expect civic education to have a prominent place in the curriculum, but this is not the case.

Civics and Citizenship Education |

Reading and mathematics are the primary focus in elementary schools. Civic education is neglected at the secondary level as well, as a plethora of recent studies reveal: The NAEP Civics Assessment, also known as the "Civics Report for the Nation," found in that more than 30 percent of all students tested at grades four, eight, and twelve scored below a Basic level of understanding of civics and government.

Another 39 to 48 percent scored at the Basic level, defined as a "partial mastery of the knowledge and skills that are fundamental to proficient work at a given grade.

Even so, only 21 to 22 percent scored at the Proficient level. A mere 2 to 4 percent achieved the Advanced level signifying superior performance. Inalmost half of fourth grade nationwide reported daily classes, but in daily classes for fourth graders had dropped to 39 percent.

relationship between civic education and citizenship

A Council of Chief State School Officers survey found that almost all states regularly assess mathematics and reading, while about twothirds assess writing.

However, not even half of the states assess social studies, which includes civics and government. Improving Civic Education The need to improve civic education is recognized not only in the United Statesbut in other countries as well.

relationship between civic education and citizenship

Review and rethinking is underway in well-developed and long-standing democracies, as well as in some postcommunist countries. Studies conducted in twenty-four countries by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement IEAconfirm a universal or near-universal commitment to certain goals or themes.

There is agreement that civic education should be cross-disciplinary, participative, interactive, related to life, conducted in a nonauthoritarian environment, cognizant of social diversity, and coconstructed with parents and the community, including nongovernmental organizations. While there is general agreement with the goals enunciated in the IEA study, Americans are voicing some additional needs.

The American Political Science Association, the National Alliance for Civic Education, and the Center for Civic Education have all called for an increase in the amount, quality, and visibility of civic education. These organizations want to dramatically increase high-quality pre-service and in-service training for teachers of civics and government. An additional goal that these organizations seek is to encourage the federal government to administer the NAEP Civics Assessment more frequently and with state-level results to make it more useful for improving state and local civic education programs.

Two national commissions, the National Commission of Civic Renewal and the United States Commission on Immigration Reform, have urged that every state require all students to demonstrate a mastery of basic civic knowledge and concepts as a condition of high school graduation. A Framework for Civic Education.

Center for Civic Education. National Standards for Civics and Government. Democratic Education, revised edition. Johnson School of Public Affairs.

  • Citizenship Education for the 21st Century

The Civic Education of American Youth: Wilson Wilson,a life-long student of character, reminds us; "We do not know how character is formed in any scientifically rigorous sense. Those observations and that research tell us that the study of traditional school subjects such as government, civics, history and literature, when properly taught, provide the necessary conceptual framework for character education.

Further, those traditional school subjects provide a context for considering the traits of public and private character which are important to the maintenance and improvement of a democratic way of life. Research also tells us that the ethos or culture of the school and of the classroom exert powerful influences on what students learn about authority, responsibility, justice, civility and respect. Finally, we know that one dynamic by which individuals acquire desired traits of private and public character is through exposure to attractive models of behavior.

Coles tells us that: Character is ultimately who we are expressed in action, in how we live, in what we do - and so the children around us know, they absorb and take stock of what they observe, namely us-we adults living and doing things in a certain spirit, getting on with one another in our various ways.

Our children add up, imitate, file away what they've observed and so very often later fall in line with the particular moral counsel we unwittingly or quite unself-consciously have offered them Because the United States is the world's oldest constitutional democracy, it sometimes is easy to forget that our American government is an experiment.

It is an experiment that requires, as the authors of the Federalist Papers put it, a higher degree of virtue in its citizens than any other form of government. Traits of private character such as moral responsibility, self-discipline, and respect for individual worth and human dignity are essential to its well-being. American constitutional democracy cannot accomplish its purposes, however, unless its citizens also are inclined to participate thoughtfully in public affairs.

Traits of public character such as public-spiritedness, civility, respect for law, critical-mindedness, and a willingness to negotiate and compromise are indispensable to the continued success of the great American experiment in self government.