Towards a narrative concept of citizenship: Implications for citizenship education as children’s identity-making | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 8, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 1751-1917
  • E-ISSN: 1751-1925



This article offers a narrative concept of citizenship in order to suggest a model of citizenship education as opposed to the factual, values-oriented model currently emphasized in Korea. Korea’s current approach to citizenship education is shaped by a mandated moral education curriculum meant to instil selected national values and moral virtues in children through a top-down method of teaching and learning citizenship. The article develops a different concept of citizenship in order to inspire the practice of citizenship education as children’s identity-making. The new concept, which employs a narrative inquiry methodology for the autobiographical inquiry, is found to be in fundamental conflict with Korea’s current practice of citizenship education: the narrative concept of citizenship attends to children’s lived experiences as a starting point for citizenship education that educates children about who they are and how they live as citizens. In contrast, the predetermined values-/virtues-oriented view of citizenship underpinning the established teaching practices in Korea educates children to be knowledgeable about citizenship values or virtues without establishing the relevance of this knowledge in their lives. This study suggests that, given the goals and standards of citizenship education, the narrative concept of citizenship would be far more effective in that it allows children to see themselves in multiple dimensions of good citizenship.


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