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Open Access Citizenship education in Denmark: reinventing the nation and/or conducting multiculturalism(s)?

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Article & 2008 In 2007 the concept of citizenship was officially incorporated into teacher education in Denmark, as part of a compulsory subject called 'Christianity studies, life enlightenment, and citizenship'. Thus, at least to some extent, the notion of citizenship is expected to find its way into the educational and political vocabulary of future teachers and pupils/students of the Danish educational system, and probably into the public discussions about the meaning of democratic education in general. The subject itself is only described in very general terms within the legal framework. In order to understand the meaning and purpose of the new subject it is necessary to position it within a broader discourse of citizenship education, as it has been launched by the Danish nation state since 1999. First, citizenship education seems to be exclusively about responding to cultural diversity; secondly, articulated as part of a nation state driven strategy of the sociocultural integration of foreigners, migrants and ethnic minorities. From this follow the questions: What does integration mean, and integration into what? I will make use of four different versions of multiculturalism as my analytical framework – assimilationism, cosmopolitanism, fragmented pluralism, interactive pluralism, and pointing to the fact that the first seems to be the hegemonic understanding of the purpose of citizenship education.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2008

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  • 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.

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