Multidimensional citizenship education and an internationalised curriculum in a time of reform: Is this the future trajectory for schools in China and Australia in the twenty-first century?

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Abstract

We are living through a transformation that is rearranging the politics and economics of the past century. The problem with present educational systems is that they have not, by and large, adjusted to the new historical realities, that, for better or worse, have resulted from processes of globalisation. . . . Certain changes must take place in the content, the methods and in the social context of education, if schools are to become more effective agents of citizen education in a global age’. (36)

Kalantzis and Cope (2008) agree that social, cultural and technological change in particular ‘are throwing into question the relevance and appropriateness of heritage education’ (xvi), or old ways of teaching and learning emphasising basic skills, teacher talk, textbooks and didactic strategies in school education. They also suggest a need for content and learning that is ‘more engaging, more effective and more appropriate to our contemporary times, and our imaginable near futures’ (xvii). In spite of their very different political contexts, in both China and Australia many educators have recognised imperatives to reconsider the ways in which education policies, programmes and practices can encourage students to develop the knowledge required to live and work in an increasingly globalised and interdependent world (Lee and Leung 2006, Kennedy 2001, Tudball 2005). A decade ago, the multinational Citizenship Education Policy Study (CEPS) (Cogan 2000) found that in order to meet the challenges of the twenty-first century, we need a more comprehensive vision of citizenship, namely ‘multidimensional citizenship’, that requires citizens to address a series of interconnected dimensions of thought, belief and action including personal, social, spatial, and temporal dimensions, and a focus on content that includes civic knowledge, values and environmental education. The report recommended that this should become the central priority of citizenship education policy. In this chapter it is argued that ten years on, this notion of citizenship education still has currency as a model that should guide future trajectories in education reform. Citizenship education is an important focus in China as the nation state grows and develops in new directions as a global power in the twenty-first century.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEducation Reform in China
Subtitle of host publicationChanging Concepts, Contexts and Practices
EditorsJanette Ryan
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Chapter9
Pages185-204
Number of pages20
Edition1st
ISBN (Electronic)9780203816028
ISBN (Print)9780415582230
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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