An Essay on Citizenship Education and Democracy

Introduction

Depending on the cultural, economic, and political characteristics of their cultures, people have viewed education and its primary aims differently. Although the primary goal of education for younger generations has been their development and transition to full participation in social life, the objectives and methods still vary widely (Kirylo, 2013). According to Brighouse (2006), liberal democracies have produced a particular perspective on the function of education in connection to citizenship, which includes law-abiding, active political participation, and public reasoning.

Educators are responsible for teaching youngsters to be true citizens who can contribute to the development of their country. This perspective is beneficial to the evolution of humanity, and all nations should focus on fostering responsible and engaged citizenship in the younger generations. This paper provides a concise overview of the purpose of education, which is citizenship.

Main body

In liberal democracies, the notion of citizenship is multifaceted and comprises a number of components. The components provided by Brighouse (2006) elucidate the most significant citizenship dispute. A good citizen prioritises the public interest by abiding by the law and participating in the political life of their country. Participation in public reasoning requires an element of originality and an understanding of people’s needs. According to Dewey, education is primarily concerned with personal development, which eventually leads to the self-realization of individuals within the context of society (Wadlington, 2013).

The thought underlines that individuals must recognise their potential and be able to realise it by improving the world in many ways. As Dewey saw it, the process of creating decent citizens was tied to personal growth, which translated into a desire to contribute to and influence society in line with specific views and ideals. People who are educated are able to build and sustain a world where everyone has equal chances, rights, and responsibilities. These civilizations are based on liberal principles such as equality, empathy, and commitment to ongoing development.

The primary strength of these perspectives on the relationship between education and citizenship is their emphasis on the development of the public good based on fundamental moral values. People strive towards a just society in which there is no hunger, disease, injustice, poverty, or other vices of the modern world. As people produce new drugs and technology to make the world a better place, education provides the means to address these problems.

Nonetheless, this strategy contains a key flaw that can be viewed as the basis for the occurrence of injustice. Educators can motivate future generations to adopt their vision, but modern educational institutions do not provide students with the precise tools they need to become responsible citizens. Some researchers raise concern over the procedures used to accomplish the stated objective.

For example, Kirylo (2013) asserts that present educational practises are mostly focused on standards and accomplishing specific academic objectives. However, instructors do not demonstrate how to integrate personal aspirations with social objectives. Children are trained to compete to hold certain positions in society as opposed to taking steps to rectify the wrongs.

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Moreover, the emphasis on personal accomplishments may create disparities across distinct groups of people. For instance, young individuals may pay less attention to ethical norms and community service while conducting business in order to maximise their profit. Unless younger generations are educated to be responsible citizens, acquiring resources at all costs may become a new philosophy. Encourage students to debate a variety of instances of injustice as one of the most effective means of altering the existing system of citizenship education (Bickmore, 2006).

Bickmore (2006) supports this notion with examples from the curriculums of various Canadian provinces. The researcher emphasises that instructors attempt to avoid such controversial themes, yet in some schools, poverty, the development of third-world countries, justice, and injustice are discussed (Bickmore, 2006). Students will communicate their most pressing concerns, which is the first step in the problem-solving process, during classroom discussions.

In addition to conversations, instructors can employ many methods to teach pupils to become responsible citizens. One of these tactics is to empower youth to combat injustice on multiple levels and to be active citizens. Educators should train young people to identify the fundamental causes of specific instances of injustice and conduct research on the issue and the methods used to eliminate or reduce it in other situations or countries. Educators must also instruct pupils on how to contact various institutions and authorities in an appropriate and successful manner. Notably, teachers may also require specific training in order to deliver appropriate educational services.

Conclusion

In conclusion, it is important to stress that citizenship as one of the primary aims of education is feasible if the educational systems of liberal democracies are modified. Current controversies and unfairness that still dominate many sectors of people’s lives must be incorporated into the curriculum of schools. Learners should be trained to apply their knowledge and abilities to become responsible citizens, in addition to recognising the need to contribute to the advancement of society.

Teachers can instruct pupils to recognise difficulties, investigate them, generate ideas, and appropriately confront authorities. Educators should establish successful techniques to prepare and motivate younger generations to handle current and future concerns via collaboration and dedication to the public good.

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