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Education for Cosmopolitan Citizenship

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Education for Cosmopolitan
Citizenship: utopian ideal or rightsbased realism?
National Educational Association and National Union of
Teachers project: Magna Carta as a reference point
15-16 April 2008
Audrey Osler
Centre for Citizenship and Human Rights Education
University of Leeds, UK
Zola High School, Khayelitsha:
learning from learners
�You must see this film. It is about
our lives.’
Scenes from Yesterday
Britishness, British values and the
teaching of history
Britishness and British values
�liberty, responsibility, fairness’ Gordon Brown
�belief in democracy, the rule of law, tolerance,
equal treatment for all’ Tony Blair
The values… are not exclusively British … they
are the common values reflected in the Charter
of the United Nations’ Jack Straw
Democracy, freedom of speech, equality +
common traditions: language, sense of humour
Trevor Phillips
British history: the golden thread of
1215 King John signs Magna
Carta at Runnymede
William of Orange signs Bill of
Rights 1689
4 great Reform Acts
(contemporary cartoon 2nd
Reform Act 1867
enfranchisement of male
British government
accountable to the people
America: our nightmare?
… for all of us who care about racial
equality and integration, America is
not our dream, but our nightmare. …
There I think the focus is purely on
equal rights for different groups.
Amongst America’s hyphenated
identities, the part of their identity
that marks them out as different
seems to have become as important,
even more important, than the part
that binds them together.
Trevor Phillips 2005
What does it mean to be an
American citizen?
Let America be America Again
Let America be America again. Let it
be the dream it used to be. Let it be
the pioneer on the plain. Seeking a
home where he himself is free.
(America never was America to me.)
Let America be the dream the
dreamers dreamed….
Outline: education for cosmopolitan
citizenship - utopian ideal or rightsbased realism?
the changing context of citizenship
changing conceptions of citizenship
education within a globalized world
cosmopolitanism and education for
cosmopolitan citizenship
The cosmopolitan imagination
conceptualizing the global community as
re-imagining the nation as cosmopolitan
acknowledging this as a strength
learning to recognize, respect and value
diversity at a local level
The changing context of citizenship
Education for democratic citizenship is at the top of
policy agendas across the globe
Political climate dominated by discourses of security,
wars on terrorism, search for world peace
Response to perceived tensions as nation-states start to
acknowledge diversity
In Europe many countries are developing multicultural /
intercultural elements to citizenship education
Globalization and nationalism
Globalization and nationalism as co-existing and
sometimes conflicting
Shifting challenges as different forms of racism,
such as Islamophobia, gain ground
Intercultural citizenship education needs a global
perspective because nationalist perspectives may
engender racist attitudes and discourses.
Education for cosmopolitan citizenship provides
an alternative to nationalist citizenship education
Six key contextual factors
global injustice and inequality
globalization and migration
concerns about levels of civic and political
a perceived youth deficit, expressed as a double
deficit when applied to visible minorities and
migrant communities;
end of the cold war;
concerns about the growth of anti democratic
and racist movements
AND NOW security
Changing conceptions of citizenship
Remedy for declining social cohesion
European international bodies (Council of
Europe/ European Commission) advocate
multicultural / intercultural education as
an essential component of citizenship
At national levels a continued emphasis on
education for national citizenship
Intercultural education and
intercultural evaluation
Common emphasis on separateness of
cultures and sensitivity to other cultures
Common teacher dilemma: respect
everything ?
Intercultural evaluation is a critical
evaluation of cultures, including one’s own
Intercultural evaluation and human
Universally agreed principles
All cultures have strong and weak points
Cultures are not static
Recognition of both difference and similarity
Recognition and analysis of power
Tensions and conflicts between and within
Provisional assessments subject to further
processes of enquiry
Enlightenment philosophy: Kant
(1724 – 1804)
пЃ® Global vision embraces all human
пЃ® Based on the dignity and inherent
rights of individuals as members of a
universal humanity
Universal Declaration of Human
Rights and cosmopolitanism
Whereas recognition of the inherent
dignity and of the equal and inalienable
rights of all members of the human family
is the foundation of freedom, justice and
peace in the world …
(UDHR: preamble, 1948)
Human rights as universal standards
World Conference on Human Rights,
Vienna 25 June 1993
Re-affirms the commitment of 171
member states (99% world’s population)
and NGOs to the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights
The cosmopolitan citizen
views herself as a citizen of a
world community based on
common human values
Anderson-Gold (2001:1)
Cosmopolitan citizenship
The cosmopolitan ideal combines a
commitment to humanist principles and
norms, an assumption of human equality,
with a recognition of difference, and
indeed a celebration of diversity
(Mary Kaldor, 2003)
John Dewey (1916): nationalism
replaces cosmopolitanism
In Europe the movement for state education was
associated with nationalistic movements
Education became a civic function identified with
building the national state.
Cosmopolitanism gave way to nationalism and
loyalty to the state rather than humanity
Education of the citizen of the state rather than the
"man," became the aim of education.
Cosmopolitanism: negotiating
multiple identities and loyalties
The principle of each individual being
a citizen of just one nation-state no
longer corresponds with reality for
millions of people who move across
borders and who belong in various
ways in multiple places
(Castles, 2004:18)
Developing democratic citizens:
building on student identities and experiences in
Young people’s identities and place
[I was] born and bred in Leicester. Parents from India and Africa
[I was] born in London. I didn’t like London because it was
overcrowded and people didn’t care about anyone but themselves
and not friendly – just getting on with their own lives. …I like
living in Leicester because it’s multicultural. I like the fact that even
though we live in Britain our culture is kept alive! There are many
different languages taught in Leicester including Gujarati, Punjabi
Young people’s identities and mobility
I am from Malawi and I was born in Leicester in the General
Hospital. My father and mother are from Malawi and my
grandmother is from India. We left Malawi because almost every
day people were getting shot in their houses and one of them was
my neighbour (Abdul)
I was born in Dominica (the Caribbean) but I came to England
when I was only three. First I lived in Highfields with my mum and
dad, then they split up an I lived with my dad in Beaumont Leys.
Then we moved to Braunstone and I lived there for about seven
years (Thabo)
Self-definitions – hybridity, culture and
I am Hindu, born in Leicester and proud of being a Hindu
I believe in God. I am a Hindu, my language is Gujarati and I
like my religion. I HATE people who are RACIST! I don’t
have a problem with people who have a different culture than
me, I mix with other religions. I am a very strong believer in
God (Nadeera)
I’m Asian and my religion is Islam. I live in a multicultural
area with Christians, Sikhs, Muslims and Hindus (Najma)
Concepts of community
I quite like my community where I live because I get a
good view of everything. I have very good neighbours –
they are very friendly. At the bottom of my street I have a
small park and pond. Old people go there for a walk, it’s a
small pond. In the summer little kids go there to play.
This is St Peter’s Church. I see lots of people go. I see
weddings, funerals.
This is the big mosque in St Peter’s. Lots of people go
there every Friday to pray.
The mosque is just behind my house. When it’s a big day, I
always go up in the attic to see people and get a very good
view (Rehana)
Cosmopolitan democratic space
Cosmopolitan citizenship requires
international joint action to ameliorate the
condition of the most vulnerable groups in
world society and to ensure that they can
defend their legitimate interests by
participating in effective universal
communicative frameworks.
(Linklater 1998:206).
Cosmopolitanism and patriotism: a
I am saying that we have no
choice but to be cosmopolitans
and patriots, which means to fight
for the kind of patriotism that is
open to universal solidarities
against other, more closed kinds
(Taylor 1996:121)
Education for cosmopolitan
Education for cosmopolitan citizenship
…implies a broader understanding of
national identity; it requires recognition
that British identity, for example, may be
experienced differently by different
(Osler and Vincent, 2002: 124)
Citizenship education and national
A citizen’s racial, cultural, language,
and religious characteristics often
significantly influence whether she is
viewed as a citizen within her society.
(Banks, 2004: 5)
Dewey and democratic dialogue
In order to have a large number of values
in common, all the members of the group
must have an equable opportunity to
receive and to take from others. There
must be a large variety of shared
undertakings and experiences.
(Dewey, [1916] 2002: 97-8)
Experience and participation
Students should be taught
knowledge about democracy and
democratic institutions and
provided opportunities to practice
Banks et al. (2005) Democracy and Diversity:
principles and concepts for educating citizens in a
global age.
Citizenship and multiculturalism in England:
some challenges
Whose knowledge?
multicultural education has always slightly worried me rather than education in a multicultural
(Government advisor on citizenship education)
Problems with language and terminology
Cultural minority became pejorative and multicultural was okay politically as I say in the 80s,
allowing multicultural but crossing out antiracism. But by the end of the 90s yes even multicultural
had become, oh dear pejorative
(Academic adviser to Government)
I think there’s a nervousness about talking about racism because …I think it can lead to a
defensiveness amongst people in the system and I think that has created a nervousness about
using the language of racism
(Former education minister)
The word multiculturalism has, again starting in America and Australia too for that matter, even
Canada, has come to be, in some circles, it’s a pretty all purpose swear word, as it were …
negatively loaded.
(Trainer and former local government inspector)
Positive initiatives
Education for all
We have been running …this course …which is about schools, all white
schools tackling issues to do with racism and looking at how schools can
tackle these issues.
Recognizing the cosmopolitan reality: transcending national boundaries
So issues to do with racism are live issues with the different teaching
bodies [in Europe] in the former Yugoslavia who have been part of
movements that have been slaughtering each other on the basis of ethnic
differences. So you know within …the last decade we’ve seen these things
happening in Europe.
A new consensus?
Multicultural education is educating for a diverse society, recognising the
diversity of society but also recognising that there are structural inequalities
which need to be addressed in order for us to have the kind of equality of
treatment … there seems to be more of a consensus across the party
political divide on that kind of definition that there would have been, say,
thirty years ago
Facing challenges and taking risks
It is easy to become cynical about
our ability to change systems,
about working for peace and
justice, about human rights
flouted in so many places
throughout the world.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Education for cosmopolitan citizenship,
human rights and diversity
Teachers, Human
Rights and Diversity:
educating citizens in
multicultural societies
Trentham, 2005
Changing Citizenship:
democracy and
inclusion in education
Open University Press
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