Rethinking Citizenship Education presents a fundamental reassessment of the field. Drawing on empirical research, the book argues that attempting to transmit preconceived notions of citizenship through schools is both unviable and undesirable. The notion of 'curricular transposition' is introduced, a framework for understanding the changes undergone in the passage between the ideals of citizenship, the curricular programmes designed to achieve them, their implementation in practice and the effects on students. The 'leaps' between these different stages make the project of forming students in a mould of predefined citizenship highly problematic. Case studies are presented of contrasting initiatives in Brazil, a country with high levels of political marginalisation, but also significant experiences of participatory democracy. These studies indicate that effective citizenship education depends on a harmonisation or 'seamless enactment' of the stages outlined above.
In contrast, provision in countries such as the UK and USA is characterised by disjunctures, showing insufficient involvement of teachers in programme design, and a lack of space for the construction of students' own political understandings. Some more promising directions for citizenship education are proposed, therefore, ones which acknowledge the significance of pedagogical relations and school democratisation, and allow students to develop as political agents in their own right. "Continuum Studies in Educational Research (CSER)" is a major new series in the field of educational research. Written by experts and scholars for experts and scholars, this ground-breaking series focuses on research in the areas of comparative education, history, lifelong learning, philosophy, policy, post-compulsory education, psychology and sociology. Based on cutting edge research and written with lucidity and passion, the "CSER" series showcases only those books that really matter in education - studies that are major, that will be remembered for having made a difference.
Tristan McCowan is Senior Lecturer in Education at Roehampton University.
Acknowledgements; 1 Introduction: tensions and disjunctures in citizenship education at the start of the 21st century; 2. Conceptions of citizenship; 3. What does it mean to be critical? Bernard Crick versus Paulo Freire; 4. Lessons from Brazil; The Landless Movement; The Plural School; Voter of the Future; 5. The framework of curricular transposition; The first leap - ends to means; The second leap - implementation; The third leap - effects; Seamless enactment; 6. Towards a new approach; Critical questioning; Neutrality; Pedagogy and pedagogical relations; Democratising the school; Political action; 7. Concluding remarks; References.