A Geographical issue: the contribution of Citizenship Education to the building of a European citizenship. The case of the VOICEs Comenius network

Stefano Malatesta, Jesus Granados Sanchez

Abstract


Citizenship Education is currently a consolidated issue within several European curricula. It has been integrated in
national educational laws in different ways: as cross-curricular education (UK, Italy), as a subject (France, Spain)
or as a skill (Ireland). Despite these differences, there is a common agreement on the ethical value of Citizenship
Education and on its main aim: to foster students’ sense of local, national and European citizenship. In some ways
this goal has been inspired by Morin’s path to a “plural” education and a planetary citizenship (Morin, 2000).
Social sciences, and in particular Geography and History, keep the function of giving tools able to show how a
dialogue among the different scales is possible. Nevertheless European citizenship is undergoing a constant
redefinition due to the European enlargement process, the role of Europe inside national jurisdictions and to the
changes in national curricula. This evolution directly affects the guiding function conferred to school in terms of
skills, aims and themes; therefore competences and methods adopted by teachers may have to be reconsidered.
This essay presents the first results of the updating of the state of the art of this issue that has been carried out by
the Citizenship Education Research Group of the VOICEs Comenius network (The Voice of European Teachers).
The main aim of this international research group is to face the challenge of building a European citizenship by
developing a comparative analysis of teachers’ practices and strategies in different local, regional and national
contexts, aiming to contribute, with renewed ideas, to the debate on this promising field of research.


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