What examples of citizenship education do you remember from your K-12 schooling? What types of citizenship (e.g. which of the three types mentioned in the article) were the focus? Explore what this approach to the curriculum made (im)possible in regards to citizenship.
Throughout my schooling career, my schooling involved two different forms of citizenship education. Those being; personally responsible citizen, and participatory citizenship. These ideas were predominantly taught in Social Studies. The class was taught what it means to be a good citizen. This included the act of voting in all elections, giving back to the community in the form of volunteering. Ideas like these were presented to us, and I see that as an example of teaching us to be a personally responsible citizen, this was then reinforced by showing us to be a participatory citizen. That it is one thing to know how to be a good citizen, it is another thing to act on this knowledge. Throughout my high school learning career there were many food drives, volunteer programs that in some cases were required, and in grade 12 social we were given extra credit if we voted in the election that year. All of this taught us how important it was to participate in our community and engage in the activities that we discussed in class. The one type of citizenship that was rarely if ever considered was that of being a justice-oriented citizen. We never discussed the systemic issues that ran behind why we needed to volunteer, why we needed to donate food to the food bank. Why was there a dire need for food? Why is this such a prevalent problem? Those ideas were never expressed to us, we were merely told that we needed to help with the problem. We were taught the basic idea of how to be a good citizen and how to improve our society in a minimal sense, but we were never explained what was wrong with our community and how to solve it.