Citizenship practices in school spaces: comparative discourse analysis of children’s group decision making

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Abstract

Critique of citizenship education has suggested citizenship should be reconceived, not as a status, but as something that people continuously do: citizenship as practice. This article draws on a two-year ethnographic study of citizenship practices in a Scottish primary school examining how citizenship curriculum was distributed across children’s experience of the school day, the ways belonging was constructed in different spaces and time frames and how civic participation was identified in pupils’ own terms. The article’s close discourse analysis examines moments when children’s decision-making reveals the connections made between citizenship curriculum and viable citizenship identities in practice. This micro analysis of the semi-formal space of the school reveals children’s understanding of group cooperation that remain opaque in the more formal setting of the classroom. The findings suggest that educators would do well to attune further to children’s informal decision making processes and curricular practices that would better support them.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
JournalPedagogy, Culture and Society
Early online date23 Feb 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 Feb 2022

Keywords

  • citizenship
  • speech communities
  • discourse analysis
  • group work
  • curricular practice
  • collaborative problem solving
  • dialogic mediated activity

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