ERIC Number: ED454111
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
Global Citizens/Local Agents: Re-positioning the School at the Centre of Sociocultural Transformation.
Gill, Judy; Howard, Sue
For Australians the issue of globalization adds a new dimension to the complex of concerns around questions of national identity. This year has seen wide coverage of issues of citizenship and the rules whereby entry of refugees is permitted. Yet another indication of growing concern at the way Australia is understood came through educational initiatives. A constant feature of the current theorizing about national identities is that they are discursively constructed, amenable to change and re-writing, a feature in marked contrast with earlier notions of fixity and history-as-truth and essentialism of genetic endowment. Seen as thus, national identities are fluid constructions, generated differently in different contexts. This paper reports on a study, part of a larger, ongoing qualitative study of Australian children's perceptions of public power and politics, that explored how 21 Anglo-Australian children, between ages 7 and 12, from 2 separate schools in different social class areas, responded to questions of national identity and citizenship at a time when both issues are at the top of the national agenda. The main themes for the analysis were suggested by and adapted from the critical discourse analysis approach adopted by the larger Australian study of adult constructions of national identity. In response to what it means to be Australian, children appear to adopt a fairly practical approach, listing things that are uniquely associated with Australia (animals, landscape, flag). In relation to citizenship, children are reasonably well-informed about the rights and responsibilities of being a citizen. Findings suggest that children are beginning to adopt new forms of national identity that involve an easy slippage between the global and the local, the national and the international. Contains 21 references. (BT)
Descriptors: Citizenship, Discourse Analysis, Elementary Education, Foreign Countries, Political Issues, Student Attitudes, Student Reaction, Student Surveys
For full text: http://www.aare.edu.au/99pap/gil99579.htm.
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia