Sunday, January 09, 2005

More On Learning Citizenship

"Learning cannot be designed but can be designed for"*

As I elaborated public policy and civil soceity directly influence our understanding of citizenship. In another words local governance and citizenship education seems to be linked and advanced together. I am interested in reflecting on relevant theories that explain how citizenship education is enhanced in a given society, not within the formal education system but vis-à-vis the governance of the same locale.

Taking the realm of education out of school and integrating it to the realm of local governance requires alternative design and re-arrangement of contemporary governance structure so as to provide opportunities for people to experience this new social interaction and make meaning out of it through reflection. Making meaning does not impact long term changes in knowledge and belief systems unless it is put into practice. Thus, the challenge is to integrate experience and learning or more relevant to say public participation and learning. This suggests there is no specific educator required to educate citizenship but, nonetheless, learning takes place through reflection and participation and respectively, the role of educator should be to provide a space for action and further reflection for people to experientially make meaning (learning) out of this praxis. As you see one can design for citizenship learning to take place within the public sphere.

* Wenger, E. 1998. Communities of Practice: learning, meaning and identity, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

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