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Some challenges in teaching citizenship in an Islamic context: Pakistan Studies teachers’ perspectives and practices in relation to teaching about identity

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In Pakistan, the school subjects of Social Studies, Civics and Pakistan Studies are explicitly used to construct Pakistani national identity and young people’s sense of citizenship. This article draws upon interviews with 27 Pakistan Studies teachers from a town in the Punjab region of Pakistan. The interviews aimed to explore the teachers’ perceptions and teaching practices with respect to teaching about regional, national and global identity content within the area of Pakistan Studies. The research found that in seeking to reconcile conflicting binary policy discourses most of the teachers continued to subscribe to relatively traditional pedagogical practices constrained by an examination system that overwhelmingly assesses students’ knowledge of textbook content. Most of the teachers had more inclination towards developing students’ national identity based upon Sunni Islamic values rather than multi-layered identities, reflecting more localized cultural diversity or global outlooks and viewpoints.
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Keywords: Pakistan studies; citizenship; cultural diversity; global perspectives; national identity; teacher perspectives

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: University of Management and Technology, Pakistan 2: University of Tasmania

Publication date: September 1, 2017

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  • Citizenship Teaching and Learning is global in scope, exploring issues of social and moral responsibility, community involvement and political literacy. It advances academic and professional understandings within a broad characterisation of education, focussing on a wide range of issues including identity, diversity, equality and social justice within social, moral, political and cultural contexts.
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