Researchers in the field of civic education have discovered the changing trends in attitudes related to civic education. Of importance is the discovery that both family and school relations determine the levels of interaction (Ainley et al., 2011). However, school relations and influence have been found to have a considerably higher influence than family relations. This is particularly because of the high levels of political organization within the school environment. Despite this, the level of influence that the family holds as a variable in civic and political education remains significant (Feith, 2011).
In the US for instance, research studies have indicated that, for the last decade, the population of young people who are qualified to vote has diminished by 9.7% (Hooghe, 2011). In Australia, the numbers have been low especially because voting is mandatory for any qualified citizen However, the choice in elections amongst young Australians has not been based on any metrics but just to meet e national obligation of electing. This trend indicates a lack of interest in matters that concern the state (İnce, 2012). Over the last 15 years, there has been a 1.8% decline in the number of qualified young people involved in national elections. In Canada, an overall decline in national matters has continuously reduced over the last 10 years. This decline has been recorded at 7.7% (Hooghe, 2011).
However, what comes as a common baseline for all these arguments is the fact that all students require a level of knowledge to appreciate the role of politics and civic education. An important aspect to understand is the fact that the mode of delivery, as well as the content of civic education, depends on the social backgrounds of the students and the educational contexts (Schulz et al., 2010). Thus, the teacher has to navigate between curriculum context and incorporating the same to the social background of the students. A multicultural setting classroom will thus require a wider scheme of navigation for the teacher in a bid to bring all cultures and backgrounds to the fore (Oesterreich, 2011). This is because, the role of civic education does not just encompass dissemination of knowledge, but lassos tales into consideration the ability to transform the curriculum content into useful material capable of developing good citizens at an early age.
Multicultural settings provide a challenge for education administrators in trying to maximize the role of the school in enabling students realize the value of their civics and political structures. Thus is due to the cultural alignments from which most students do wish to detach (Ferguson, 2011). On the other hand, trying to incorporate both local civic educations with national and international civic education provides a challenge in a multicultural setting as students will have varying positions at each level (Milligan, E., & Ragland, R. G., 2011).
Significant effort is placed on incorporating valuable citizenry character in students through enabling them realize their heritage. A citizenry that understand their heritage is likely to remain loyal to their beliefs and support the course even at all costs (Kjellin et al., 2010). The need to reason on the basis of ‘common good’ rather than an individualistic approach is considered crucial in building a strong nation where citizens approve of their cultural, political and social beliefs.
One of the key realizations that teachers have to take into consideration is the fact that the modern-day world has placed many challenges in delivering civic education. Several factors have occasioned this. Among them is the increasing ethnic conflicts caused by differences in ideology, alarming rates of global insecurity, migration, the rapid rise in technology and communication, cultural and economic interdependence, new equality demands and the increasing levels of across political authorities and traditional politics (Youniss, 2011).
The overall objective will thus focus on the need to have civic education within education settings as well as seeking the best practices in incorporating civic education, in the contemporary world. The dynamism of the current world demands a change in perceptions as well as the realization that diversity of cultures, ethnicity and background has significant influence on the impact of civic education (Teo, 2010). There is no doubt that ignoring these aspects compromises the quality and importance of civic education. Training of teachers should thus focus on enabling them operate in a diverse society so that the outcome of their delivery is a valuable citizen ready and capable of operating in a diverse civic structure (Zhang et al., 2012).
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