Questioning Allegiance: Resituating Civic Education

1st Edition

Liz Jackson

Routledge
Published May 10, 2019
Reference - 154 Pages
ISBN 9781138351110 - CAT# K395265

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Summary

Education about living in society and in the world is a vital task of schools. Yet such civic education is not always critically examined, and few among us have been encouraged to reflect on our civic education experiences. Around the world, one’s civic education most often looks like a black box. How it works is unclear. When human harm, violence, and oppression can be seen in a wide variety of contexts, it is worth critically examining civic education. Could it be that civic education is not playing a helpful role in society? Can it be done differently and better? As one reflects on the contemporary social world, it is helpful to examine the assumptions surrounding education for living together, to think about current modes and possible alternatives. Otherwise, one might end up promoting allegiance to civic and partisan entities which are themselves black boxes (the ‘nation’, the ‘people’), failing to notice when and how what goes on in civic education is morally questionable.

This book aims to elucidate some of the black box of civic education, and focuses on some of its main operations across contexts. Offering a new framework for students and academics, this book questions existing thinking and shifts the focus of attention from the right balance to strike between local, national, and global allegiances to the more fundamental question of what counts as ‘local’, ‘national’, and ‘global’, and what might be involved in cultivating allegiances to them. It looks at allegiance to not just transnational but also sub-global ‘civilisations’ and it problematises the notion of the ‘local community’ in new ways.

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