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Planning for critically informed, active citizenship: Lessons from social-studies classrooms

Rose Atkins, Rowena Taylor, and Bronwyn Wood

To be active members of a democracy, young people need to develop skills in active citizenship participation. Within New Zealand, there are opportunities to develop such skills within the social-studies curriculum as well as within the personal social-action achievement standards in NCEA (Levels 1–3). Drawing on a 2-year research project with teachers and students in five schools, we identified three strategies which enhanced critical and active citizenship: affective engagement; critically insightful cognitive engagement; and practical democratic skills. Integrating these into planning for social action emerged as a crucial part of the social-action process.

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