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Towards an understanding of the means-ends relationship in citizenship education

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While it is clear that all educational undertakings consist of ends and means, the relationship between the two is far from straightforward. This article proposes a framework for understanding the relationship in the context of citizenship education. Qualitative research was undertaken of three educational initiatives in Brazil: the schools of the Landless Movement, the Plural School framework in the city of Belo Horizonte, and the Voter of the Future programme, run by the Electoral Tribunals. Case studies were carried out of each, involving documentary analysis, interviews, and observations. Analysis of the relationship between ends and means in each case gave rise to two key frames: the first, 'proximity', refers to the extent to which ends and means are separate or unified; the second, 'rationale', refers to the grounds on which means are chosen. Finally, the implications of this framework for understanding curriculum are drawn out.

Keywords: Brazil; aims of education; citizenship education; curriculum theory

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: School of Education, Roehampton University, London, UK

Publication date: June 1, 2009

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