Writing Prompt: How is citizenship education a curricular problem?

When I think of citizenship or being a “good” citizen, I think of someone who is responsible, who follows the rules, and who is caring. The “good” citizen that I just defined is labeled as the personally-responsible citizen, however from the readings, we see that citizenship can be categorized in three different ways; the personally-responsible citizen, the participatory citizen, and the justice-oriented citizen. Citizenship education is a curricular problem, because instead of teaching citizenship from the curriculum, we tend to teach it based on where the school is located. This means that students in lower socio-economic schools are only being taught how to be the personally-responsible citizen, whereas students in high socio-economic schools are being taught how to be a justice-oriented citizen.

When citizenship education is being taught like this, it was can affect students in many different ways. Students who are only being taught how to be personally-responsible citizens will think that all they can achieve is a working class job, because either they don’t have the help to achieve a high class job, or they are so ‘hypnotized’ into thinking that they can’t achieve a high class job so they don’t even want to try. Whereas, students who are being taught how to be justice-oriented citizens are determined to get the best education they can, and to have the job of their dreams. These students focus on jobs where you need to go to university, whereas the personally-responsible students focus on jobs in the lower trades.

If citizenship education can be taught through the curriculum, and not based on where the school is located, then I believe we can create students who have all the citizenship traits. If we teach citizenship education differently, our students will not only be personally-responsible citizens, but they will be participatory citizens, and justice-oriented citizens as well.