Promoting Active Citizenship
Cultivating active, informed, critical, reflexive and engaged citizenship is a condition for a living and viable democracy.
Viability means, among others, an inclusive, sustainable society by bringing diverse groups (ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, etc.) together in developmental, dialogical and participatory ways.
Educational institutions of all kinds have a responsibility for ensuring and fostering these ideas and practices - this at a time of many new examples of people learning to live together creatively. as well as coping with new challenges of living together (xenophobia, racism, violence, political alienation and the rise of fundamentalism and are struggling with questions about multiculturalism, etc.).
These competencies are vital with students in teachers preperation if they are to create a good enough learning environment for their own pupils, teach active citizenship, and become active citizens themselves.
UNIT 11: The Role of Public Sphere
Rationale and Objectives:
Public Sphere is a sort of environment in which a person can effectively fulfill the role of a citizen in a democratic society. In different societies it can be more or less developed. There are even societies that do not know it at all. Citizenship Education in the context of Public Sphere appeals to an understandable and accessible environment in which person can use what they have learned in a practical way. In this way Civic Knowledge will be useful for them and they also will consider it as such. But in the context without Public Sphere educated man is suspended in a structural vacuum. Civic knowledge is not useful for them, and what they learned they can consider only as a beautiful utopian ideals. So education can even discourage them any civic action. This unit aims to understand what Public Sphere is, why it is so important in building democratic society and how to build it.
Learning Outcomes: Students will be able to:
- Define different aspects of the Public Sphere and explain why it is so important in making people socially active
- Apply specific tools to create social activity with the community in the public sphere.
- Lecture and discussion
- Theater tools
- Student Council method
- Gordon Finlayson, J. (2005). Habermas: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford University Press, Chapter 6 Discourse ethics I: discourse theory of morality; p. 76-91; Chapter 7 Discours ethics II: ethical discourse and the political turn, p. 91-106.
- Calhoun, C. (1993) Civil Society and the Public Sphere, in: Public Culture 1993, 5: p. 267-280, University of Chicago
- Gordon Finlayson, J. (2005). Habermas: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford University Press, Chapter 8: Politics, democracy, and law, p. 106-122.
- Sennet, R. (1974). The Fall of Public Man, Cambridge University Press
Activity 1: Discussion:
- what is Public Sphere
- why it is so important
- example of existing Public Sphere
- example of non-existing Public Sphere
- how to build Public Spher
Activity 2: : Verbatim theater method:
Divide group of students in pairs; Give them a topic of the story from their life (e.g. “the best moment in my life”, “the most difficult thing I have ever had to deal with” etc.); in each pair each person is a storyteller and then a listener; when everybody tells their story, each person has to tell the story of their partner, trying to act them.
Activity 3: Gamification
Use specially prepared educational games to teach students how to cooperate with others and solve problems together
Activity 4: Student Council methodUse SCM to discuss and solve problems between students