South African Journal of Education

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Citizenship formation through curriculum and pedagogical practices: Evidence from two Zimbabwean teachers’ colleges

Tendayi Marovah


The need to include citizenship education in the school curriculum has been considered as significant for advancing democratic values, social justice, and human development. Debates on citizenship formation focus on various dimensions, such as human rights and global citizenship with limited focus on how “curriculum transposition” of citizenship education in teacher education has been undertaken. This paper argues that there is a need for citizenship education that advances democratic values, human capabilities, and social justice. It draws on 5 lecturer participants’ voices in a case study on the operationalisation of National and Strategic Studies, a variant of citizenship education, in two Zimbabwean teachers’ colleges. The paper investigates the form of citizenship cultivated by National and Strategic Studies, how this is achieved, and the challenges and opportunities to advancing critical citizenship among future teachers. The findings suggest that, despite aspirational moments of teaching and learning for critical thinking, curriculum and pedagogical practices represent an imperfect realisation of advancing critical citizenship. The paper proposes the need for curriculum and pedagogical practices in citizenship education to be more critical and democratic to form a robust form of citizenship that is democratic and critical.

Keywords: capability approach; citizenship education; critical democratic citizen; curriculum and pedagogical practices; human development

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