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Open Access Remaking Civic Formation: towards a learning citizen?

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This paper uses three examples of educational innovation emerging in the contemporary context of market-liberal reform as a focus for exploring the patterns and possibilities of civic formation. The first part of the paper contextualises contemporary civic formation within the long historic struggle between capitalism and democracy, highlighting the way citizen learning is being reconfigured as markets and state are mediated by community interests. The last section attempts to draw out the key features of this community-based citizen learning and its implications for citizen learning and action. This discussion provides a basis for clarifying the kind of civic and citizenship education that is needed to take community-based learning beyond localism towards formal civic engagement that can sustain and protect democracy. The idea of a learning citizen is suggested as a way of conceptualising and acknowledging the contradictions within this citizenship agenda that holds the imperatives of lifelong learning in tension with the imperatives of educating citizen.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 November 2004

More about this publication?
  • Founded in 2003 by the UCL Institute of Education, the journal reflects the Institute's broad interests in all types of education in all contexts - local, national, global - and its commitment to analysis across disciplines using a variety of methodologies. It shares the Institute's aspiration to interrogate links between research, policy and practice, and its principled concern for social justice.

    Drawing on these strengths, LRE is a wide-ranging and engaging journal that features rigorous analysis and significant research across key themes in education, including: public goals and policies; pedagogy; curriculum; organization; resources and technology; and institutional effectiveness. Articles and book reviews are written by experts in education, psychology, sociology, policy studies, philosophy and other disciplines contributing to education research, and by experienced researcher-practitioners working in the field. The highest quality of reporting and presentation are ensured through an independent, anonymised peer-review process. As an entirely web-based open access journal, LRE has been able to offer innovative features and formats including: epistolary conversation; colour photos and illustrations; illustrative video clips.

    LRE welcomes relevant articles and book reviews. Please email them to [email protected]

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