Constructing the postnational citizen?: Civics and citizenship education in the Australian National Curriculum

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Abstract

Recent critiques of citizenship education have identified the need for curricula that cover not only civil, political, social and cultural aspects of political belonging and responsibility, but that orient students to the realities of global engagement and responsibility. Rather than focussing on national values, histories and political procedures, the argument is that active citizenship, cosmopolitan values and identities, social justice, globally responsible behaviours, and critical self-awareness should be the goals of such education. This paper develops a typology of citizenship education, and then examines the ‘Civics and Citizenship’ module of the new Australian National Curriculum to understand what type of citizenship is being promoted through the curriculum and the teaching resources. The research finds that despite some opportunities to engage students’ thinking more globally, and a positive focus on the rights and contributions of Australia’s Indigenous peoples, the main thrust of the curriculum is the promotion and perpetuation of traditional nationalist and proceduralist citizenship, rather than global or cosmopolitan citizenship. Some recommendations for potential improvements are made.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Curriculum Studies
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 Feb 2020

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