RECONCILING GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP EDUCATION WITH THE NEW CIVIC AND CITIZENSHIP EDUCATION CURRICULUM
The notion of fostering citizenship, particularly in young people, is common in education theory and in popular discourse. Schools are seen as key social institutions for the cultivation of citizens. On the one hand, citizenship is a governing principle of public education, and on the other, citizenship as a topic is given explicit attention in schools through specific courses in citizenship education. But, as Pashby (2011) underlines, “the project of cultivating citizens is recognised for certain inherent paradoxes at the same time that it is receiving a particular urgency within the global imperative” (2011: 430). So, while scholars are debating different pedagogical perspectives on citizenship education, many are also stressing the need to reconceptualise it in the context of a globalised world. In the past two decades, the term Global Citizenship Education (GCE) has emerged and rapidly become a highly debated pedagogical concept in the scholarly literature and in international policies. Its inclusion in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) means that it is one of the educational priorities of the 21st century. It can support learners to be globally conscious citizens, i.e. citizens with a critical understanding of globalisation, aware of global inter-connectedness and the ways they and their nations are implicated in local and global problems, conscious of the role of humans for the future health of the planet, able to have a dialogical, complex, and dynamic understanding of their identities, and capable to understand and interact responsibly with others while being self-critical of the own perspectives and positions (Pashby, 2011; Pike, 2008).
The paper first outlines the need for a citizenship education that is diverse, global, critical and political and argues that GCE, despite being complex and ambiguous, can be a new pedagogical framework that merges these four different perspectives. It then looks at how GCE is practiced in the Province of Trento. This analysis draws from a qualitative study, that used Constructivist and Informed Grounded Theory (Charmaz, 2014; Thornberg, 2012) to analyse data collected through 21 intensive interviews with lower secondary school teachers. The study underlines that GCE is not an educational imperative, but is rather a personal choice in the hands of ‘willing and able teachers’ who are committed to cosmopolitan values. The paper outlines how these pioneering teachers interpret and ‘manoeuvre’ the curriculum to provide students with opportunities to explore the global dimension of their citizenship. Strategies include: a) Designing specific GCE projects; b) Making choices about the curriculum; c) Responding to prompts arising in class. The paper outlies these three strategies providing examples from the experience of teachers and identifying those elements that are of relevance for a consolidation of the practices within the new “Civic and Citizenship Education Curriculum”. The paper then ends by outlining how GCE can be reconciled with Civic and Citizenship Education, thus ensuring that this new curriculum equips students with the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes they need to contribute to a more inclusive, just and sustainable world.
TEACHERS’ TEACHING PREFERENCES IN ECC PLANNING: EVIDENCE FROM A FACTORIAL SURVEY EXPERIMENT IN TRENTINO
1IPRASE, Italy; 2IPRASE, Italy; 3Università Roma Tre, Italy; 4LUMSA, Italy
The government of the Autonomous Province of Trento introduced, as a new area of teaching, Educazione Civica e alla Cittadinanza (ECC) in all schools of the province. The novelty of this teaching is to be a cross-curricular integrated subject which is supposed to be planned, delivered and assessed jointly by all teachers of the class board. For this reason is conceived as an innovative area of teaching. In support of the implementation of this new teaching, the class board has appointed a teacher responsible for coordinating the planning, the teaching approaches, and the assessment strategies to be adopted at the class level.
The present study focuses on this group of teachers and investigates, by means of a factorial survey experiment, their methodological preferences within the field of ECC. Drawing on existing literature, we identify the dimensions and their attributes that characterize possible ECC teaching and learning approaches. Each learning scenario contains eight dimensions: two on planning strategies, two on the methodologies used, and the last four dimensions on the assessment strategies adopted. Each dimension is then defined by two levels corresponding to two alternative and opposite teaching approaches. This method, also known as vignette study, creates hypothetical situations of teaching practices and asks teachers to engage in a simulation exercise where they have to evaluate different planning scenarios and to provide judgments. In this study, each scenario corresponds with different modes in which fictitious teachers have planned the ECC teaching, employing different approaches and strategies. Throughout this method, we are able to reveal the methodological approaches teachers would use in their classroom and how they assess them.
Our analysis draws on a self-administered survey to 1722 teachers. Each teacher evaluates six different ECC planning scenarios leading to a total sample size of 10332 scenarios. Given the nested structure of the data – scenarios nested into teachers – multilevel models are used to estimate the effect of each dimension on teachers’ judgment. Moreover, we investigate possible heterogeneity of the effects across groups of teachers defined by having or not attended in-service training, years of teaching, and the level of education in which they teach. The survey will be administered on April 15th, 2021.
THE CHARACTERISTICS OF CIVIC AND CITIZENSHIP EDUCATION IN THE AUTONOMOUS PROVINCE OF TRENTO
The focus on citizenship education in schools in the Autonomous Province of Trento (P.A.T.) has always been strong in legislation and directives predating Italian Law 92/2019. A forerunner of national guidelines, the Trentino study curricula of the First (2010) and Second (2018) cycle advocate an across-the-board, integrated, multidimensional and vertical approach to citizenship education. They also stress the shared responsibility of teachers and figures within and outside the school in the pursuit of the educational, cognitive, socio-emotional, value and behavioral objectives of forming responsible and active citizens. For years, a variety of citizenship education initiatives have been part of the school curriculum and many organizations and institutions organize workshops and occasions to teach more about related subjects. These initiatives are inspired by the autonomous statute of the province, its specific history and its invested interest in fostering the coexistence of communities of different languages and cultures.
In light of this, the new teaching area was called ‘civic and citizenship education, to encourage learners to become actively involved in democratic experiences. Alongside the topics referenced in Law 92/2019, the “Guidelines for the transversal teaching of civic and citizenship education” of the P.A.T. introduced additional knowledge and competencies concerning Financial literacy and the Special Autonomy of Trentino.
A project to support the teaching of civic and citizenship education was set up from IPRASE (Provincial Institute for Educational Research and Experimentation), focusing on the following aims.
- Build on the citizenship education initiatives already in schools and re-interpret them in light of the innovations introduced by the new teaching area. Rather than concentrating purely on giving information, the decision was taken to focus on: a) teaching to develop specific competencies, b) active teaching-learning methods, c) the responsibility of teachers to adapt the information to their own contexts.
- Sustainability of the educational initiatives, given that this is the first year of the didactic experimentation and it has been fraught with problems caused by the pandemic. The training courses were therefore divided into an essential, mandatory part and a voluntary part with further study material.
- Organisation of two online courses: 1. an asynchronous course for ‘teachers who coordinate their class’ and ‘teachers representing the school’ lasting ten hours with videos, information sheets and material, available throughout the school year; 2. twenty hours of blended synchronous and asynchronous learning for ‘teachers representing the school’’ only, with participants earning credits.
- Activation of a platform where ‘teachers representing the school’ can connect with other teachers and experts, including a forum, an F.A.Q.s section, glossary and notice board with information.
Quantitative and qualitative monitoring which, based on the interaction between top-down and bottom-up actions, allows for adjustment of the training and teaching.
Identification of the strengths and weaknesses of the first year of experimentation with a view to improving and consolidating the new teaching area in the years to come.
Council of Europe (2018), Reference framework of competences for democratic culture, in: www.coe.int/en/ .
THE IMPLEMENTATION OF “EDUCAZIONE CIVICA E ALLE CITTADINANZA” IN THE PROVINCE OF TRENTO: SUPPORT ACTIONS AND MONITORING BY IPRASE
Introduced by Deliberation n. 1233/2020 by the provincial Council of Trento in the local school system, “educazione civica e alla cittadinanza” (ECC) stands out as an innovative area even compared to the most pioneering teaching and learning practices existing in Trentino. In order to support and monitor the implementation of the new subject the Provincial Institute for Educational Research and Experimentation (IPRASE) has been put in charge of planning and conducting dedicated actions. In doing so a two-tired approach, quantitative and qualitative, has been adopted by the Institute, combining statistic data collection and analysis with teachers’ training and personalized support in designing school curricula and evaluation standards for ECC.
The purpose of the presentation is to illustrate some of the most distinguished features of IPRASE’s action and sketch a concise picture of its initial outcomes. First, we consider overall methodological issues related to the on-line courses designed for teachers in charge of the new subject at either the school or the class level (“referenti di istituto di educazione civica e alla cittadinanza” and, respectively, “coordinatori di educazione civica e alla cittadinanza”). A special focus will be given to the dialogical character of the courses and its rationale. Second, we show results on the organization, planning, and evaluation strategies adopted at both the school and class level in Trentino. We propose an integrated analysis that investigates similarities and discrepancies between the planning actions at these two decision-making and organizational levels. Our analysis relies on self-collected data on 87 “referenti”, i.e. teachers responsible for the planning at the school level, and 1722 “coordinatori”, i.e. teachers responsible for the planning at the class level, with a coverage of the whole Trentino school system. Third, we illustrate the initiative involving individual schools, whose “referenti” submitted to IPRASE documents concerning “educazione civica e alla cittadinanza” for an in-depth analysis, and account for the main results of the latter. In conclusion we give a critical appraisal of shortcomings and success of the first year of implementation of ECC in accordance with the available evidence.
THE NEW “EDUCAZIONE CIVICA”: A FIRST YEAR OF CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES
Istituto Comprensivo "Tongiorgi" - Pisa, Italia
Law 92/2019 introduced the new form of “educazione civica” into the Italian education system, considering it as a cross-curricular integrated subject, with a shared evaluation challenge. This two key features, in such a complex year for the educational system, give the opportunity to reflect on many aspects, but especially on competences, training and needs of school professionals. The point of view presented here is that of a coordinator (“referente”) of the “educazione civica”, a new profile introduced by the legislator in each Italian school.
The aim of this abstract is to share reflections based on the experience of this first year, in the attempt to look at the “educazione civica” as the opportunity to implement several issues concerning European recommendations (for example Council Recommendation 2018) and needs typical of Italian contexts.
Firstly, a reflection must be made on the cross-curricular characteristic, the “trasversalità” mentioned so many times in the guidelines (d.m. 22 giugno 2020, Allegato A). This first year of experience reminds us the relevance of shared and methodologically consistent thinking: to “create” together the proposal for the new subject, we need to be able to work together, and in this sense the “educazione civica” represents for school professionals an opportunity not to be missed. The new subject can create new moments of reflection and discussion, that are the high points of the action- research cycle, but often extremely neglected in the challenging everyday life of a school.
What is more, this type of methodological debate makes a decisive contribution to context analysis, which is the other key point of the new “educazione civica” frame. Context in fact is mentioned in different forms in the guidelines (families, cities, associations, etc.) and an additional specification is contained in d.m. n. 9 (7 gennaio 2021), with the aim to expand collaboration between schools and other actors engaged in education to civic-mindedness and active citizenship.
Considering this, a project, unfortunately not yet realized, will be briefly presented. It holds together the three conceptual cores outlined in the guidelines (Costituzione, Sviluppo sostenibile e Cittadinanza digitale) focusing on anticorruption and antimafia actions, to promote a culture of integrity through a civic monitoring action.
In conclusion, the results of a SWOT analysis carried out in my school will be shared, and some future perspectives.
Decreto Ministeriale n.35 del 22 giugno 2020, Linee guida per l’insegnamento dell’educazione civica.
Decreto ministeriale n. 9 del 7 gennaio 2021, Collaborazioni scuola-territorio per l’attuazione di esperienze extrascolastiche di educazione civica.
Official Journal of the European Union, Council Recommendation of 22 May 2018 on key competences for lifelong learning.
Vannucci, Ferrante (2017), Anticorruzione Pop, Edizioni Gruppo Abele.