Combating crisis and despair: voice, choice, and agency for active, resilient citizenship

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Over recent years in Australia, as in other comparable affluent, anglophone democracies, numbers of young people who feel anxious, depressed, disillusioned, or disengaged have been increasing (Mission Australia, 2017; Walsh, 2016; Watterson & O’Connell, 2019). Taking the general complexity and challenges of globalised, modern societies and adding the unprecedented experiences of crisis in 2020 saw feelings of despair and hopelessness in young people concerningly exacerbated (Youth Affairs Council of Western Australia, 2020). This chapter considers opportunities for education to mobilise student agency, through authentic voice and choice, in order to respond to pervasive social, political, environmental, and economic challenges. Drawing from case studies of educational settings where belonging and empowerment were evident as a result of student voice initiatives, the chapter will consider how such educational experiences might support students to develop active, resilient citizenship dispositions that will be needed to respond to uncertain futures.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNew Perspectives on Education for Democracy
Subtitle of host publicationCreative Responses to Local and Global Challenges
EditorsStewart Riddle, Amanda Heffernan, David Bright
Place of PublicationAbingdon UK
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781003145806, 9781003145806
ISBN (Print)9780367703431, 9780367703448
Publication statusPublished - 2022

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