Chapter 1 - Draft
October 21, 2013
California State University East Bay
In the not so distant past, citizenship or civics education in the United States embraced an assimilation ideology, focused on Anglo-protestant conformity effectively eradicating the cultures and languages of diverse groups. During assimilation, when members of identifiable racial groups began to acquired the language and culture of the Anglo mainstream, they were often denied inclusion and full participation in the community because of their racial characteristics. Anglo-Saxon Protestant tradition was for two centuries, and in crucial respects still is, the dominant influence on American culture and society(Schlesinger, 1992, p. 28). This approach to civic education created conflict, anxiety, demoralization, and resentment in those forced to disconnect from their culture and belief systems.
Today, the term Civics is rarely used, having been replaced with Global Education or Global Citizenship. In an ever increasing interdependent world, educators are demonstrating a growing interest in educating for global citizenship. Because of growing ethnic, cultural, racial, language and religious diversity throughout the world, global citizenship education is imperative to properly prepare students to function effectively in the 21st century Global Economy. Citizens in this century need the knowledge, attitudes, and skills required to function not only in their own cultural community, but beyond cultural borders and divides. As educators, it becomes our responsibility to incorporate student strategies for acquiring these skills into our everyday curriculum. According to Cushner and Brennan (2007), cultural competence is required to be an effective educator. "Teachers who are culturally competent," they argue, "understand cultural traditions that extend beyond the borders of the United States, can
References: Altinay, H., & Brookings Institution (2010). The case for global civics. Washington, D.C: Brookings Institution, Global Economy and Development. Lewin, R., & Schattle, H. (2009). The handbook of practice and research in study abroad: Higher education and the quest for global citizenship. New York: Routledge. Nussbaum, M. C. (1997). Cultivating humanity: A classical defense of reform in liberal education. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press. Olson, C. L., Evans, R., & Shoenberg, R. E. (2007). At home in the world: Bridging the gap between internationalization and multicultural education. Washington, DC: American Council on Education.