Competing Frameworks: Global and National in Citizenship Education
reviewed by Hillary Parkhouse - June 27, 2019
Title: Competing Frameworks: Global and National in Citizenship Education
Author(s): Anatoli Rapaport (Ed.)
Publisher: Information Age Publishing, Charlotte
ISBN: 1641134488, Pages: 244, Year: 2018
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Although global and national citizenship are two subjects that receive much attention from educational researchers, they are rarely placed in conversation with one another. Competing Frameworks: Global and National in Citizenship Education, edited by Anatoli Rapoport, begins such a conversation. The book presents a compilation of studies examining the relationship between national and global levels of citizenship as well as, at times, more local forms of citizenship. The chapters take the reader all over the world by including studies from Russia, Cyprus, Liberia, China, Turkey, and the United States, among other nations. The chapters also examine citizenship frameworks from multiple lenses, specifically addressing how these frameworks are formalized in curriculum, embodied by students, understood by teachers, and shaped by historical conditions.
Two chapters examine global citizenship education through the lens of curriculum, both national and local. The chapter A Comparative Case Study of International Schools in Singapore and Hong Kong: Studying Global Issues as Ethical/Political Practice by Baildon, Alviar-Martin, Bott, and Lam, is a comparative case study of the local curriculum of two elite international schools, one in Singapore and another in Hong Kong. The authors found that the curricular flexibility of both schools allowed them to foster a robust sense of global citizenship. However, they also noted an absence of focus on the national level, explained in part by the international student body at the Singapore school and by the emphasis on social harmony and personal social conscience at the Hong Kong school. In both cases, however, students were learning to consider how they could use their socioeconomic privilege to improve conditions for those around the world who were less privileged. Turning the focus to national curriculum, Philippou and Theodorous chapter Collapsing the Supranational and the National: From Citizenship to Health Education in the Republic of Cyprus describes the Republic of Cyprus’ transition from citizenship education to health education as supranational, European discourses increasingly influenced education reforms in Cyprus.
Another set of chapters focus on youth perspectives and agency. Josić’s chapter, “U.S. Youth’s Sense of Belonging as Citizens of Their Communities: Probing Youths Nonbelonging to a National Community presents a case study of U.S. high school students sense of belonging at multiple levels of citizenship. The author found that they felt a stronger sense of commitment to their local and global communities than their national community, in part because voting age restrictions and ageism prevent older adults from taking youths views seriously. Another chapter analyzing data from youth is Measuring Outcomes of Citizen Education: Values and Identity of the Russian Youth by Anna Sanina. Sanina uses survey data from Russian university students to evaluate how globalization is impacting citizenship education outcomes. Sanina found that university-level citizenship education in contemporary Russia prepares students more for the labor market than for active citizenship. Finally, Blanks Jones chapter, Flipping the Panopticon: Liberian Youth Break the Fourth Wall in the Ebola Crisis, describes how Liberian youth used theater to raise local Ebola awareness. Like the U.S. youth in the chapter described above, these youth recognized the low expectations society holds for the civic engagement of young people; however, they defied these low expectations through their activism.
Only one chapter examines the perspectives of teachers, namely, Global Citizenship Versus Patriotism: The Correlation Between Turkish Preservice Teachers Perception of Patriotism and Global Citizenship by Emin Kilinc and Bülent Tarman. The authors surveyed 202 preservice teachers at a public university in northwestern Turkey about their views on patriotism and global citizenship. They found that those participants displaying constructive (as opposed to blind) patriotism had more positive attitudes toward global citizenship, social responsibility, and global civic engagement. The chapter demonstrates how global citizenship and patriotism are not necessarily at odds with one another.
Two chapters focus on historical contexts of citizenship education within particular nations. Amira and Doppens chapter, The Struggle for National Identity: Islam in Egypt, the Netherlands, and the United States, uncovers the historical roots of the contemporary political and social contexts of Islam in these three countries. The authors argue for civic education as a means for developing an alternative to rising anti-Islamic discourses. Coping with the Challenge of Globalization at Home and Abroad: Chinas Patriotic Education by Xiauye Qin provides a detailed history of shifts in patriotism education in China from the Qing Dynasty through the era of resistance to imperialism and on through the Mao Zedong era and finally contemporary China. The chapter also analyzes how the recent surge in Chinese students studying internationally has led to a campaign to encourage those students to exhibit patriotism and defend China while abroad.
Finally, two chapters shed light on how digital technologies can be leveraged for global citizenship learning. Harshman and Behouneks chapter, Rethinking Cosmopolitanism and Global Citizenship Within Multimodal Digital Literacy Education, examines various approaches used within English education classrooms to develop multimodal literacy development within the framework of cosmopolitanism. A later chapter, Teachers, Twitter, and Global Citizenship Education: Global Discussions, National Boundaries by Quaynor and Sturm, analyzes teachers engagement in two moderated Twitter chats on global education. The authors found that teachers tend to focus more on developing students empathy and global perspectives on diversity and sustainability than on students understandings of human and civil rights. The chats also allowed teachers to build an affirming and pedagogical community of colleagues interested in global citizenship education.
The books major strength is the abundance of angles from which it approaches the question of the relationship between citizenship education and globalization. Some chapters highlight the relatively more macro ways globalization has impacted national discourses on citizenship and patriotism, while others take a more micro look at how students and teachers are responding to the increasing need for global citizenship development. As a result, the book would be of interest to curriculum developers, teachers, and researchers of citizenship education, global education, or international comparative education.