Commonwealth Case Studies in Citizenship Education

2310-1431 (online)
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The books in this series report on the outcomes of project on citizenship education in the selected countries, and provide valuable insights into the strengthening of values in a society. They set out the strategies and actions needed to support small states wishing to promote the values of good citizenship.
A Framework for Heritage, Multiculturalism and Citizenship Education

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Commonwealth Secretariat
01 Jan 2003
9781848598157 (PDF)

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Following the 14th Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers held in Halifax, Canada, in November 2000, the Commonwealth Secretariat organised a seminar with the theme ‘A Commonwealth Framework for Heritage, Multiculturalism and Citizenship Education’ in Johannesburg, South Africa, in April 2002.

This publication was compiled from the papers and proceedings of the seminar. It is a result of collaborative work undertaken by educationalists, curriculum developers and leading experts to develop a framework for an innovative approach to citizenship education, to strengthen a culture of fairness, equity, tolerance and respect.

This groundbreaking approach involves the key elements of heritage, multiculturalism and citizenship. The framework, easily adapted to individual countries, serves as a basis for organising curriculum and for teaching and learning resources.
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    • Introduction

      Following the provisions of the Statement on Education in the Commonwealth issued by Commonwealth Ministers of Education at their 14th Triennial Conference held in Halifax, Canada on 30 November 2000, the Commonwealth Secretariat organised a seminar with the theme ‘A Commonwealth Framework for Heritage, Multiculturalism and Citizenship Education’ in Johannesburg, South Africa, April 2002. The seminar marked the launch of a progressive initiative on citizenship education. Its objective was to ‘assist member countries develop a framework through which they could prepare and share relevant resources for an innovative approach to citizenship education’, as they endeavour to build more inclusive and harmonious societies out of populations characterised by increasing diversity in ethnic background, culture, religion, values and much else.

    • Key Themes

      Many presentations began with a focus on what needed to change in education and why. Reasons advanced for a focus on citizenship education included socio-economic conditions and the inadequacy of outdated curricula in dealing with the challenges of the modern era.

    • Recommendations

      Overall, the seminar allowed for a common understanding on a shared vision for designing a common framework for Heritage, Multiculturalism and Citizenship Education. It was suggested that the framework should include areas of collaboration and mechanisms for co-operation, as well as concepts and principles for curriculum design. A working group could work on pulling together case studies.

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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Selected Papers

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    • The Transformation of the Curriculum for Basic Education in Mozambique

      Education is a process by which a society prepares its members to guarantee continuity and development. It is a dynamic process, seeking continuously for the best strategies to respond to the new challenges of continuity, transformation and development that the society imposes.

    • Education Values in Primary Schools: An Experience of Human Rights and Democracy Education

      The project on Education for Human Rights and Democracy (EHRD) was launched in 1997, with the aim of mainstreaming human rights, democracy and related issues into the formal school curriculum.

    • Religious Tolerance and Citizenship in Lesotho: Religious Education or Citizenship Educaation?

      The aim of this chapter is to demonstrate the importance of fostering religious tolerance as an element of citizen education in Lesotho. The starting point will be a short analytical review of the roots of religious intolerance in Lesotho. The contention is that if any policy is to be implemented successfully, the causes of the disturbance, which necessitated the policy intervention in the first place, need to be identified correctly.

    • The School Curriculum as a Means of Providing Universal and Meaningful Reflection on Citizenship in Lesotho

      The Ministry of Education in Lesotho, through the National Curriculum Development Centre, realised the need to help children through education, by providing them with the necessary life skills to make informed decisions. They will then learn to value their beliefs, their identity and their own people and live with them. They will grow into adults who will preserve their heritage, develop appreciation of their people's social and religious backgrounds and the differences between them, and be willing to promote and contribute to the social harmony and unity of individuals, families, communities, the nation and the world at large.

    • Achieving Change through Statutory Education: A History of Education for Mutual Understanding in Northern Ireland

      These lines were written over 100 years ago by the Ulster poet William Allingham; while they do not tell the whole story, they capture something fundamental about past and present divisions in Northern Ireland. They tell us something also about the need for, and to an extent the origins of, Education for Mutual Understanding (EMU) in our divided society Ireland has always had divisions; as a consequence it has always had wounds to be healed, and since the advent of public education in the nineteenth century, there have been those who have seen education as one way of attempting to heal them.

    • Education for Human Rights and Democracy in Namibia

      Namibia is a country born out of a bloody national liberation war, which was a product of our national liberation struggle. That setting logically left in the minds of the liberators of our motherland scars of violence, intolerance, suspicion and anxiety. These notions simply do not have a place in our peaceful, democratic and developing Namibia.

    • Citizenship Beyond Borders? National Identity, Xenophobia and Global Citizenship

      This paper analyses empirical data that were generated by an international collaborative research project on democracy, human rights and citizenship education with participants from Sweden, Yugoslavia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Mozambique and South Africa. The project was funded by the Stockholm-based Swedish International Development Agency-Department of Research Co-operation (SIDA-SAREC) and was completed in 2000. It focused on Grade 9 teachers‘ and learners‘ perceptions of democracy, human rights and citizenship and analysed Grade 9 curricular materials in one language in each country (English in the case of South Africa) and history textbooks.

    • The South African Experience - Further Contextual Issues

      This book has discussed the undoubted need for citizenship education, the tremendous amount of work done in the field and the immense challenges this poses. It has been argued that we are living in the most educated, yet most bloody, century in the history of humankind.

    • Appendices
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