Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Becoming a Responsible Citizen

LEVEL 05 - Postgraduate Modular Diploma or Degree Course


DEPARTMENT Education Studies

DESCRIPTION Active Citizenship has become a buzzword throughout the European Union and beyond. Due to the way the history of our people evolved over the centuries, we come from a tradition of ‘inactive citizenship’ where the Church, a succession of foreign powers and local social elite/intelligentsia, appropriated almost all power. This study-unit is intended to raise awareness, provide justification and offer suggestions for classroom practice in the field of citizenship education.

Study-Unit Aims:

The study-unit aims to give teachers in the subject the necessary knowledge required to teach democratic citizenship in the curriculum. This requires an adequate understanding of the political nature of democracy, both as a system of government, as a democratic state with its institutions, and, as John Dewey described it, as a ‘form of life’. The unit explores both these political dimensions of the word beginning with the origins of democracy and its history and then focusing on the contemporary model as a liberal representative democracy in our Western world. The nature of the institutions that guarantee liberal freedoms (of expression (free press and media), of association (free parties, trade unions, pressure groups, movements etc.), of lifestyle) will be explored and debated within the Maltese context. The democratic virtue of active participation in public life and in the institutions of the state and in civic society will be examined together with other virtues like respect for law and for due process, respect for persons, tolerance, equality of consideration, open-mindedness, etc. These will be the virtues promoted by teachers in the classroom. The impediments to full active participation; the issues raised by difference, a multi-cultural society, gender equality, and sexuality will be addressed and discussed with the students. The unit also seeks to explore the Deweyan idea of democracy as a form of life, and the question how it can be taught in this sense. It will pass on to examine the Deweyan thesis that education into democratic citizenship requires immersion in a democratic environment, and to discuss the question, evidently in the Maltese context, whether this means that it can only succeed in democratic schools and classrooms, or if it can also be learnt through other things like school councils. If the former how teachers can render their classrooms democratic.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- describe the meaning of being an active participant of a multicultural society;
- compare the individual and society outlining the tensions that exist in getting these two components to work together;
- demonstrate that they are able to use promote active citizenship in the classroom and school;
- introduce students to some important feminist perspectives through an inclusion of women's representations of their own selves and their lives and see the relevance to the PSCD teacher;
- acquaint students with important aspects of feminist pedagogies and give them examples of how they are actualized in class;
- encourage students to think about how they can develop feminist pedagogies within the PSCD classroom.

2. Skills:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- engage with a set of readings and think about them critically;
- observe the social forces at work that make up active citizenship;
- use a variety of pedagogical skills.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Main Texts:

- Freeman Jane (2001) Feminism , Buckingham, Open University Press. bell hooks (2000) Feminism for Everybody. Passionate Politics, South End Press.
- Villeverde Leila (2007) Feminist Theory and Education Primer, Peter Lang. Diversity and Citizenship Education: Global Perspectives (Jossey-Bass Education) by James A. Banks (2007).
- SAGE Handbook of Education for Citizenship and Democracy by Professor James Arthur, Ian Davies, and Carole Hahn (2008).
- Citizenship and Education in Liberal-Democratic Societies: Teaching for Cosmopolitan Values and Collective Identities by Kevin McDonough and Walter Feinberg (2006).
- Holden, C., & Clough, N., (1998) Children as Citizens – Education for Participation. Jessica Kingsley Publishers. Chapters One, Seven, Eight, Thirteen.

Supplementary Readings:

- Holde, C. (2000) Children as Citizens Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
- Engle, S. H., & ochoa, F. S., (1988) Education for Democratic Citizenship. Teachers College Press.
- Beyer, L. E., (1988) Can Schools Further Democratic Practices? Theory into Practice Vol. 27 No. 4.
- Scott, D., & Lawson, H., (2002) Citizenship Education and the Curriculum. Ablex Publishing. Chapter Four, Eight, Ten.
- White, P., (1989) Personal and Social Education – Philosophical Perspectives. Kogan Page. Chapter Seven.
- White, P., (1996) Civic Virtues and Public Schooling Teachers College Press.
- Walker, F., D., & Soltis, F., J., (1992) Curriculum and Aims. Teachers college Press.
- Ornstein, A., C., & Hunkins, F., (1993) Curriculum, Foundations, Principles, and Theory. Allyn and Bacon.
- Parsons, C. (1999) Education, Exclusion and Citizenship Routledge.
- Torres, C, A. (1998) Democracy, Education and Multiculturalism Rowman and Littlefield.
- Ministry of Education (1999) Creating the Future Together: The National Minimum Curriculum. Malta.
- Lather Patti (1991) Getting Smart. Feminist Research and Pedagogy, Routledge.
- Fisher Berenice Malka ( 2001) No Angel In the Classroom USA Rowland and Little Field Publishers.
- Coffey Amanda & Delamont Sarah (2000) Feminism and Classroom Teaching London, Routledge Falmer.
- Pillow Wanda & St Pierre Elizabeth (1999) Working the Ruins. Feminist Poststructuralist Theory and Methods in Education, Routledge.
- Ropers- Huilman Becky (1998) Feminist Teaching in Theory and Practice, New York, Teachers’ College Press.
- Mayberry M. & Rose E.C. (1999) Innovative Feminist Pedagogies in Action, New York, Routledge.
- Luke C. and Gore J. (1992) Feminisms and Critical Pedagogies New York, Routledge.
- Belenky M et al. (1986, 1997) Women’s Ways of Knowing Basic Books ,Perseus Book Group, New York.
- Smith Crocco, Munro P. & Weiler Kathleen (1999) Pedagogies of Resistance, Teachers College Press, New York.
- Middleton Sue (1993) Educating Feminists New York, Teachers’ College Press.
- Maher Frances & Thompson Tetreault Mary (1994) The Feminist Classroom, New York Basic Books.


Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment SEM1 Yes 50%
Examination (1 Hour and 30 Minutes) SEM1 Yes 50%

Simone Galea
Victor Martinelli
Joseph Vancell
Kenneth Wain

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It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.