Developing an understanding and the teaching for citizenship in the social studies classroom
Date of Award
Master of Education (M. Ed.)
Institute for Educational Development, Karachi
This small-scale action research project explores the possibilities and challenges involved in facilitating social studies teachers in understanding and teaching for citizenship. Citizenship education will enable students to acquire the knowledge, skills and attitude to be informed, active and responsible citizens. However, the assumption is that in most cases the goals and objectives of citizenship education are not met due to the teachers' limited knowledge and expertise with regard to the subject of social studies being taught by them. The pressures from the management of the school, parents and on going assessment are also some of the factors that hinder the enrichment of the social studies curriculum. In relation to these factors my study focuses on developing teachers' understanding and practice in teaching for citizenship in the social studies classroom, as one of the important ways to ensure achieving the goals and aims to prepare citizens who are responsible, active and caring towards their society. To conduct this study, I worked collaboratively with two secondary social studies teachers in a private school of Karachi, Pakistan. The action research began by studying the existing perceptions and practices for the teaching of citizenship. Subsequently, an action plan was prepared to facilitate understanding and practice of teaching for citizenship. The data were collected through classroom observations, semi-structured interviews, and the researchers' journal. The data analysis was an on going process, whereby after each action, data was reflected and analyzed upon for further action. The data from the study illustrates some possibilities that facilitate the teachers' understanding and practice of teaching for citizenship. The possibilities that have been mentioned here are: the supportive and open learning environments for teachers to learn, providing opportunities for students to make decisions in the classroom such as in setting the test timetables, electing their classroom monitor and working cooperatively with one another. Furthermore, the study illustrates the challenges faced in the process were the unavailability of time to meet collaboratively and to conduct classroom research during the assessment time. The study concludes by presenting key learning experiences during the study, and suggests recommendations for further collaborative action research.
Fernandes, C. (2003). Developing an understanding and the teaching for citizenship in the social studies classroom (Unpublished master's dissertation). Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan.