Saturday, January 30, 2010

Diversity, Group Identity, and Citizenship Education in a Global Age, Group 3

What does it mean to be a citizen in our current global age?
Different conceptions of citizenship face many challenges, historically, politically, socially, and culturally.
This article discusses assimilationist, liberal, and universal conceptions of citizenship as it relates to education.
“Liberal assimilationist notions of citizenship assume that individuals from different groups have to give up their home and community cultures and languages to attain inclusion and to participate effectively in the national civic culture” (p. 129).
National identity vs. immigrant culture. These are frequently conflicting – why is this necessary?
This even existed in ancient civilizations. Mesopotamia, Egypt, even the US!
“Most cultural, social, and educational policies in nation-states throughout the world, including the United States, were guided by an assimilationist policy prior to the ethnic revitalization movements of the 1960s and 1970s” (p. 130).
Briefly discusses the importance of cultural democracy coexisting political and economic democracy.

Marshall’s citizenship typology explains that we need to be cosmopolitan citizens concerned for the well being of the world. Our actions affect others in some way – we need to be aware of how our actions affect others.

Mainstream Citizenship Education
Reinforces status quo and dominant power relationships
Doesn’t challenge class, racial, and gender discrimination that takes place within establishments
No critical thinking, decision-making, or actions just memorization

Transformative Citizenship Education
Recognizes cultural identities of students
Over time develops positive racial and ethnic attitudes
Gain more knowledge and skills
Leads to equal status
Common goals
Has to be structured
Fosters cooperation not competition between racial, ethnic, and cultural groups

Levels of Citizenship
Legal – Most basic citizenship level. Simple legal citizen.
Minimal – Vote in local and national elections, i.e. votes for the president.
Active – Involvement increases beyond voting. Conventional citizens – will research before voting.
Transformative – Questions why our society currently functions as it does. What needs to change? Citizenship/community lesson plan for third grade class. Approximately 2-week project. Students will discuss what different terms currently mean to them and how to include others even though we all have different backgrounds. Will teach students to think about the diversity of others.

Group members: Diann Espinoza, Chris Dorough, Lisa Crippen, Paul Mulloy


  1. I strongly hope to someday implement Transformative Citizenship Education in my classroom. I think it is a great way to start putting Cultural Competency into action and the lesson plan is a really good example of how exactly to do it. I would love to take my students on a community service field trip and I think allowing them to come up with ideas on where to go and what to do would be a great way to get them to think about how to be a Transformative Citizen and then getting to put it into action would really cement it in their minds.

  2. The Transformative Citizenship plan is a wonderful concept. I like Marshall's citizenship typology and its basis for compassion and seeing outside one's self; applying theses often overlooked fundamentals to everyday life. I can certainly see this concept being taught in classrooms, intertwined with social skills groups, school-counselors sessions,
    even classroom and school mottos.

    Ali: Love your field trip idea!

  3. Love the field trip idea! What a perfect way to get students to think about how to better their community. And to get them excited about doing something for others is a wonderful opportunity to teach students to be Transformative citizens. I would agree Krista, that this plan is one that could be taught in classrooms. Having the children come up with classroom or school mottos and then posting them around the school would be a sure way to get them to revisit their transformative citizenship plan.