Future citizens in pedagogical texts and education policies. Examples from Lebanon, Norway, Sweden and Turkey
People today are increasingly moving across national borders for longer or shorter periods and various types of globalisation processes are having major and contradictory impacts all over the world. In addition, more and more societies can be described as multicultural and/or multiethnic. Yet, at the same time, nation states are hedging in, and closing out, people in predefined political and cultural spaces. Both these processes are of great importance for how education moulds and trains the citizens of the future. The overall aim of the project is to examine, by adopting a transnational perspective, how globalisation processes are expressed in educational policies and pedagogical texts in Sweden, Norway, Lebanon and Turkey with respect to civic education.
The two Nordic countries, and also the two neighbouring countries in the eastern Mediterranean, offer interesting points of comparison, in both historical and geopolitical terms. Each country has its own history and local context, but also exists in a world characterised by migration and mobility. As a result of transnational spread, the countries are also united in sometimes ‘sharing’ the same citizens.
School remains an important educational arena where the citizens of the future both emerge and are constructed. This project focuses on pedagogical texts in history, civics, religion and geography in the later years of compulsory school. Questions asked are how the ‘right’ citizen is presented and depicted and what values are highlighted – at both national and global level. Whose history is made visible and what voices are heard? What groups or categories are identified? Four researchers will answer questions of this kind in the present comparative, multidisciplinary project. The examination and analysis of education policies and texts in a comparative international perspective can shed light on the varying national educational contexts as well as acting as an entry point for analyses of global processes of change of relevance to schools and education. Over and above textual analysis, interviews will also be conducted with educational bureaucrats and politicians and with teachers and authors of textbooks. In additions, short studies will be made of concrete classroom practices.
The specific issues that the project addresses to various bodies of material are:
- How are various bodies of knowledge concerning the responsibility of schools to educate and train society’s citizens selected and organised?
- How are the ’citizen’ and the citizen’s identity constructed in relation to place, nation, language, religion, ethnicity and gender in policy documents for schools and pedagogical texts?
- How is the relationship between national and global perspectives treated in relation to the ’citizen’ in guidance documents for schools and pedagogical texts?
- What civic rights and obligations are given attention and what individuals are included or excluded at both national and global level?
Contact person: Marie Carlson, University of Gothenburg
Project co-worker: Sabine Gruber, Linköping University, Tuba Kanci, Sabanci University
Project leader: Annika Rabo, Stockholm University
Fundings: Swedish Research Council/UVK
Recent publication in the project: Carlson, Marie & Tuba Kanci (2016) ”The nationalised and gendered citizen in a global world – examples from textbooks, policy and steering documents in Turkey and Sweden.” Gender and Education (2016) published on Taylor & Francis Online. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09540253.2016.1143917