Citizenship Education in Commonwealth Countries

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Commonwealth countries face a range of significant challenges in contemporary times, relating to conflict, HIV/AIDS, gender inequality, threats to social cohesion and disengagement of young people. The 2007 Civil Paths to Peace report gave education a central role in promoting a ‘respect and understanding’ agenda and responding to these challenges.

This study assesses the role that education – and citizenship education in particular – can play in developing respect and understanding. Citizenship education aims to develop learners’ capacities to participate in the political sphere, and to understand and defend their own rights and the rights of others.

The book outlines the concept of citizenship, its multiple orientations and the complexities of promoting political visions through education. These challenges are further explored through five case studies of Canada, England, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Vanuatu, and through examples of best practice from around the Commonwealth and beyond.



Citizenship Education in the Work of the Commonwealth Secretariat

Today, I add my small voice to what I hope will become a groundswell of protest from a mature citizenry against a destructive, ethnically polarized political culture which has been entrenched for too long and which threatens to plunge us into civil disorder. Stop fanning the flames of ethnic antipathy in exchange for votes… For the sake of beauty, fragility, the astonishing creative potential of our New World Civilization, let us be mature enough to… recognise and respect differences, to seek healing, to build bridges, to honour and appreciate diversity.


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