Governmentality, Curriculum Policies, and Citizenship Education: The Need for Historical Research

Governmentality, Curriculum Policies, and Citizenship Education: The Need for Historical Research

Jesús Romero (University of Cantabria, Spain) and Marta Estellés (University of Cantabria, Spain)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7110-0.ch012

Abstract

Citizenship education has received increasing attention in recent decades. After its inclusion in the agenda of international organizations and European institutions, many studies and academic debates have taken place. Despite their undoubted merits, a significant portion of that literature has not sufficiently discussed its starting presuppositions. It has often introduced citizenship education as if it were a novelty. That presentism has had a dangerous effect: the ease with which some ways of thinking and talking about citizenship education have been naturalized. Precisely for that reason, a historical perspective is essential: It helps us distance ourselves from our own frame of reference to question what is usually taken for granted by analyzing the changes in the tacit knowledge systems. In this chapter, the authors try to illustrate this by examining the main tendencies that have introduced citizenship education in national curricula during the two key cycles of socio-institutional restructuring experienced by Western countries since the end of the 19th century.
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