Critical citizenship education : investigating new understandings in a teaching and learning environment at Montagu High School, Western Cape.
Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2015.
ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This research focused on the perceptions of critical citizenship of twelve participants who are Visual Arts learners at Montagu High School in the Western Cape. My aim with this research was to investigate new understandings of the notion of critical citizenship in our teaching and learning environment. These new understandings involved a deeper insight specifically into the Visual Arts learners’ perceptions of concepts such as identity, culture, democracy, equality and citizenship. The theoretical perspectives that informed my research were perspectives on Critical Citizenship Education, on Globalisation and Education, and on Learning Strategies for Critical Citizenship Education. These include collaborative learning, dialogue and reflection. The chapter on context discusses current global developments regarding Critical Citizenship Education, as well as education in a national context; the FET phase of Visual Arts education as a field of study; and Montagu High School as institutional context. The current CAPS Curriculum (2011) served as a framework for the Visual Culture Study -content. Three practical projects were investigated to establish which new understandings the participants (learners) could develop about the notion of critical citizenship and its associated meanings in a teaching and learning environment. A case study research design was chosen for the empirical part of this qualitative study and I as researcher used an inductive content analysis process whereby data was organised according to emerging themes. The presentation and discussion of data aim to reflect the learners’ personal understandings, which were used by the researcher to form conclusions about the issues which have been researched. A prominent focus in the learners’ reflections on Critical Citizenship Education was the different understandings of ‘culture’. Some learners reacted strongly to media reports about various acts of vandalism aimed at national monuments in South Africa. These learners also expressed their concern about their own future in this country. My research suggests that educators need to reflect upon and reinterpret their teaching strategies towards the promotion of learners’ consciousness of Critical Citizenship Education as a way of life. Educators should encourage learners to engage in learning through curiosity, which will empower them with knowledge, skills and critical-creative attitudes to make informed decisions. In terms of future study, it might be useful to examine the link between culture and learning in the South African context more closely.
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