Educating for Democratic Citizenship in a Globalizing World: Some Recent Developments in England and China

yiming REN


This paper compares the development of education for democratic citizenship in two apparently diverse nations - China and England - at different moments in their social and economic histories, but both in the process of ‘re-identifying’ themselves globally. It is suggested that, for all their differences, there is sufficient in common between the two nations in terms of how democratic citizenship is perceived and of what might constitute an appropriate education for democratic citizenship for useful inter-national dialogues and exchanges to be initiated between scholars and practitioners in the two countries. The longer experience of a formal citizenship education curriculum in England, including its strengths and weaknesses, are likely to be of help to Chinese scholars, teachers and policymakers in this area, especially given the current piecemeal nature of the design and implementation of citizenship programmes in China; while the ‘fresher’ approach to developing citizenship education programmes by enthusiastic scholars, teachers and policymakers in China is likely to throw fresh light on how citizenship is understood and ‘taught’ in England.


Democratic citizenship; Recent developments; England and China

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