History and development of civic education and various structural constructs of promoting active citizenship

This unit aims to begin the process of consciousness-raising as to the role of educators in active citizenship education. Specifically, course participants will be introduced to the theory and practice of active citizenship as a universal practice in democracies as well as to the framework for understanding, learning, and teaching the topic.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Outline the history and development of civic education.
  • Differentiate the various structural constructs of promoting active citizenship.
  • Describe the structural differences between human rights and democracy.  

  • Describe  the challenges of human rights enforcement

Suggested Methods of Teaching and Learning  

  1. VaKE
  2. Debates
  3. Discussion over the Video clips- what is Democracy?

Activity 1:

  1. Break the class into 4 groups. 
  2. Have each group read one of the ideas of active citizenship
  3. Delegate one main topic for each group to be responsible for and see if they feel they should add anything to their category.

Activity 2:

  1. Prepare a list of key names and events that mark the development of active citizenship and history of the topic
  2. Break the class into groups that will then create a quiz show contest.
  3. Have one representative of each team compete using their team as “helpers”.


Activity 3:

Fun History Quiz: 

  1.  By relating to the materials provided in this section (articles, clips and power point presentation), have each student create 3 questions relating to this topic.
  2. Divide the class into groups.
  3. Have a fun quiz with a symbolic prize awarded at the end (that can be easily shared with the whole class).

Activity 4

1. View Video clip: What Is The Role Of A Citizen In A Democratic Society  : 

 2.View Video clip: History of Human Rights – What are human rights?

2. Discuss gaps between history development and reality

 3. Present Eleanor Roosevelt’s quote on Human Rights as everyday close to home acts ( discussed in film)
4. Ask students how to operationalize that on a day to day level.

Suggested Literature: 

●      Osler, A.  (2002) Education for Human Rights and Citizenship in a Multicultural Society: making a difference, Citizenship, Social and Economics Education, 5(1), 5-16.  (any work by this author is recommended).

  •  Tibbits, F. (1996). On human dignity: The need for human rights education. Social Education, 60 (7), 428-431.

Education for Human Rights and Citizenship in a Multicultural Society: Making a Difference : http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.2304/csee.2002.5.1.5