Democracy & Education The Practice of Equality A Critical Understanding of Democratic Citizenship Education

This essay proposes a conception of citizenship that highlights its political aspects. Based on the work of Balibar, Rancière, and Biesta, it is argued that democratic citizenship education must include the education of equality. This means that students must have the opportunity to experience not only the membership aspect of citizenship that subjects them to the state but also the democratic aspect of citizenship that positions them as equals to each other and capable of political intervention. The increasing emphasis in state policies on the membership aspect of citizenship must be counterbalanced by an emphasis in education on the democratic aspect of citizenship: the education of equality. The proposed conception of citizenship can be used to evaluate approaches to citizenship education.

Authors: Claudia W. Ruitenberg

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