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Title: Exploring the challenges and practices of citizenship education in 'National and Civic Education' grades ten and eleven classrooms in Lebanon
Author: Akar, Bassel A.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2704 5057
Awarding Body: Institute of Education, University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2008
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Throughout the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, Lebanon's pluralisms of multiconfessional and multicultural communities continue to sway the nation to and fro between conflict and post-conflict statuses. Since 1946, however, leaders in government and education have focused on citizenship education as a fundamental vehicle for social cohesion, justice and peace. Understandings of citizenship that teachers and students have as well as their experiences of teaching and learning it inside the National and Civic Education classroom provide insight into the challenges and practices of learning for active citizenship. Across 16 schools, data was collected from 19 civics teachers through semi-structured interviews. Also, 435 students in years 10 and 11 participated in a self-reflective survey pack and class discussion. The first section of the survey pack allowed students to construct their conceptualizations of citizenship while the second section inquired into their learning experiences. The teachers presented a nationalist-based citizenship and an education that allowed students to practice democracy and demanded strategies of memorization for learning content knowledge. The students conceptualized a maximal notion of citizenship and argued to replace current practices of memorization with collaborative and dialogic learning activities. Students also found the textbooks prescriptive and, consequently, hypocritical. Teachers and students experienced difficulties and limitations with the curriculum, timetable and the management of emotions during controversial discussions. Students and teachers in Lebanon have, for the first time to date, described their conceptions of citizenship and discussed their civic education classroom experiences. From the evidence, I discovered the limitations of dialogic and participative classroom learning activities, a catch-22 of citizenship learning and a model of education for active citizenship. The innovative methodology pioneered a participative learning activity and an exercise demonstrating the capabilities of students contributing to education reform.
Supervisor: Starkey, Hugh Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available