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Can active citizenship be learned revised

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The article titled “Can Active Citizenship Be Learned? Examining Content and Activities in a Teacher’s Education Module Engaging with Gandhi and Makiguchi” written by Namrata Sharma is a scholarly article that discusses citizenship education by examining the personal and political histories of Mahatma Gandhi and Tsunesaburo, Makiguchi and their new perspectives on the rights and duties of citizens for citizenship education. The paper tries to answer the question: “Can Active Citizenship Be Learned?”
Two dissident thinkers Gandhi and Makiguchi started movements in India and Japan, respectively to transform the quality of minds of citizens to effect a social change. They believed that citizens could be activated in society by educating them with knowledge and values, specifically Gandhi’s creed of truth and non-violence and Makiguchi’s value-creating theory. Both ideologies aim to propel individual self-reflection to take active participation in the community and make a change in society. However, both met oppositions when their movements reach the socio-political level. The complexities of India’s socio-political system and Japan’s involvement in World War II contended with their new perspectives.
The critical question appropriate to this study is “How effective the module is in inculcating Gandhi’s and Makiguchi’s ideologies to learners to achieve said values to effect social change?” I believe the first factor largely depends on the educators. Will the teachers properly model and teach said values? Can they motivate their students to participate in social activity and engage in the transformation of the political situation? It is but a must for teachers to be “advocates” first of the two thinkers before they could effectively teach what they believe in.

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Another factor is citizenship education is too optimistic. To acquire the right citizenship dimensions for a democratic society to emerge is a big assumption. It must be noted that their ideologies cater to individuals, which makes it slow in transforming society as a whole.
Reference
Sharma, N. (2015). Can Active Citizenship Be Learned? Examining Content and Activities in a Teacher’s Education Module Engaging with Gandhi and Makiguchi. Policy Futures of Education, 13(3), 328-41.

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