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1981
Volume 15, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 1751-1917
  • E-ISSN: 1751-1925

Abstract

Pedagogies about and for civic engagement are not clearly defined. We consider how these understandings have been constructed and how these pedagogical developments reveal a gradual yet fundamental shift from more transmission-oriented learning intentions and practices to more transformative orientations. We examine how particular broad and interrelated pedagogical considerations and experiences appear to enhance civic engagement learning (e.g. a focus on real-life and relevant political questions and issues, classroom to community, local to global). We review experiences that allow for the practice of different forms of civic engagement; varied ways of knowing and active involvement in the process of constructing knowledge in relation to these political questions and issues rather than simply receiving information passively; and building capacities for decision-making, public issue investigation, ethical thinking, peace-building and conflict management. We recognize that these matters are approached differently in the literature and in classrooms, schools and communities with varying degrees of emphasis and levels of sophistication. We contend that these contrasting approaches and practices reflect differing cultural and historical traditions and contexts, pressures being experienced locally and globally, and the guidance of educational policies and study programmes. The enactment of these developing understandings of civic engagement pedagogy is nominal and uneven in classrooms, schools and community sites within and across countries. Most forms of civic engagement pedagogy for youth tend to occur randomly in their communities, while school-based programmes are limited and most often involved in forms of civic action that are perceived as safe and minimal. We highlight – in the form of questions – some of the persisting challenges that face educators in developing appropriate pedagogies for civic engagement. This work originated from a three-year (2016–19), six-country project, ‘Youth Activism, Engagement and the Development of New Civic Learning Spaces’, undertaken by an international network of researchers (based in Australia, Canada, England, Hungary, Lebanon and Singapore) and funded by a Leverhulme Network Grant. We explore key ideas and issues about the ways in which young people participate in society and discuss what implications there are for education.

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2020-06-01
2024-06-14
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