Department of Educational Policy Studies

CGCER Graduate Student Conference on Theories and Practices of Citizenship Education (2010)

Podcasts from the Conference

Depending on your computer settings, these may take a few minutes to load.

Right to Know: A New Educational Order
Dr. John Willinsky, Stanford University School of Education
November 11, 2010

  • Part 1
  • Part 2

Indigenous Women, Essential Knowledges in Research and Development of Nations
Dr. Priscilla Settee, University of Saskatchewan
November 12, 2010

Conference Information

The Centre for Global Citizenship Education & Research (CGCER) is pleased to host the “CGCER Graduate Student Conference on Theories and Practices of Citizenship Education” to explore different conceptual, theoretical, and methodological understandings and practices of citizenship and citizenship education on November 11 -13 at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.

The notion of citizenship occupies contested space. Historical theories of citizenship are often structured as either normative theories, that seek to define the rights and duties citizens should have, or empirical theories, that set out to describe historical perspectives of how citizens have attained the rights and duties they actually possess (Bellamy, 2008). However, such constructs of citizenship are challenged by multiple worldviews supported by theories of indigenous knowledge, postcolonialism, critical race, feminism and other social theories aimed at critique of imperialist and hegemonic notions of citizenship. These theories are constituted by a series of social and global linkages in the form of initiatives, movements and organizations that serve to combat neo-liberal globalization, motivated by with aspirations towards “a better, fairer, and more peaceful world which they deem possible, and to which they believe they are entitled” (Odora Hoppers, 2010, p. 78). Furthermore, scholarship aimed at developing citizenship education and global citizenship education seeks to redefine how citizens embody their rights and duties in local and global communities.

Additionally, a current trend towards global interactions that challenge the nation-state are at tension with simultaneous discussions in dominant political, social and educational domains regarding the re-bordering of state power. There are questions about the economic crises, a wavering faith in global capitalism, and the relevance of education in addressing the condition of the modern citizen. Discourses center on multiculturalism, open boundaries and mobility, and at the same time, racism, exclusion, and security. Social and political critique are critical to engagement in studies that re-imagine and re-articulate citizenship and citizenship education.

A number of theoretical questions are of interest: In what ways do studies of citizenship highlight the possibilities for challenge to globalization? In what ways are enactments of citizenship both defined by and defining the state and its role of power? To what extent are cultural characteristics of citizenship embedded in how people understand their agency as citizens? How are authority and legitimacy defined in the political? What is the role of citizenship education? How do social movements respond to and make sense of these pressures and tensions? How can methodological considerations shift to accommodate the challenging context of the local and global citizen?

CGCER Graduate Student Conference is an interdisciplinary conference on social theory, methods, and empirical research that provides a space and opportunity for graduate students and faculty from a wide range of disciplines to discuss and present their scholarly work and research.