Education for World Citizenship: Beyond national allegiance

Educational Philosophy and Theory 41 (4):466-486 (2009)
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A resurgence of national and international interest in citizenship education, citizenship and social cohesion has been coupled with an apparent emergence of a language of crisis (Sears & HyslopÔÇÉMargison, 2006). Given this background, how can or should one consider a subjective sense of membership in a single political community? What this article hopes to show is that confining the subject of citizenship or patriotism to a national framework is inadequate in as much as there are grounds to argue for a more expansive and, at the same time, integrated outlook. Patriotism, like Citizenship, is still open to interpretation and potentially in danger of falling short of a richer conception. Education, therefore, needs to incorporate inclusive practices and encourage an integrative mindset in order to accommodate: increasingly complex identities, associations, experiences and continuing changes in the political landscape. In this article, the author argues for the importance of learning ways in which to value and respect diversity while working towards a principle of unity in diversity. Cultivating a subjective sense of membership in a single world polity is vital in matters pertaining to sustainability and justice. In response to considering possible ways of sharing a subjective sense of membership in a single community and some implications for Citizenship, Patriotism and Citizenship Education, this article looks to three areas: ways in which to understand the notion of citizenship and patriotism, cultural crises and the notion of a cosmopolitan nation and, finally, the personal dimension to education for world citizenship.

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