Affordable Access

Citizenship education in the global era : a comparative case study of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland

  • Welty, Elizabeth
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2013
OpenGrey Repository


This thesis explores how citizenship education is preparing children for life in the global, multicultural era. Globalisation is impacting upon the understanding and practice of citizenship, and multiculturalism as a key manifestation that the education systems are increasingly accommodating. This thesis uses a variety of multicultural and education concepts to describe how globalisation is translated into educational curricula designed to prepare children for life in the global era. It presents the findings from a comparative case study in the North and South of Ireland, focusing on how the curriculum policy, Principals, teachers and children from two secondary schools, with a diverse student body, conceptualise citizenship and multicultural ism as part of the citizenship education curriculum. This thesis focuses on the connections and disconnections between how citizenship and multiculturalism are framed in curriculum policy and children's understanding of these concepts mediated through citizenship education. In particular it shows that a disconnect exists between the way in which adults and children who were interviewed conceptualised and implemented citizenship. From the adults' perspective, the primary conceptualisation of citizenship was an under-theorised, arguably superficial engagement with 'Active Citizenship'. The children involved in this research indicated disinterest and disempowerment toward this version of active citizenship presented by the teachers. With regards to multiculturalism, there was more cohesion between the curriculum policy orientation toward liberal ism and the children's liberal and plural conceptualisations of diversity. Within these generalised themes, there were distinctions in the way curriculum policy, Principals, teachers and children conceptualised and implemented citizenship and multiculturalism due to the specific socio-cultural context in each jurisdiction. Whilst, conceptualisations of citizenship and multiculturalism did emerge, there was a recognition amongst the children interviewed that they did not possess an adequate range of concept, definitions and language to discuss citizenship and multiculturalism in the global era . In order to explore a range of concepts describing active citizenship and multiculturalism in the global era, a working model has been developed (grounded in the literature reviewed and data analysed) that considers various orientations toward active citizenship and multiculturalism. / EThOS - Electronic Theses Online Service / GB / United Kingdom

Report this publication


Seen <100 times