Children as Apolitical Human Beings or as Public Educators? Re-imaging the Meanings of Democratic Citizenship

Chiara Carla Montà


The purpose of this paper is to reflect on the role and meanings of the concept and practice of Education for Democratic Citizenship (EDC). Taking stock of the political and educational crisis we are living through, this paper presents the international policy agendas of EDC, building a framework that is currently in evolution, moving from a national or European perspective to a global and sustainable one. Moreover, studies register a profound gap between the declared and the experienced, especially when thinking of children as democratic citizens. In fact, the dominant culture of childhood perceives children as apolitical and has the tendency to expel politics from educational institutions. At the same time, the young are reclaiming their political role and acting as public educators, reconfiguring the notion of democratic citizenship. The paper calls for a systematic and deep reflection by pedagogy and pedagogical research on the new meanings EDC can acquire by promoting intergenerational political thought and action.


public pedagogy; culture childhood; education for democratic citizenship.


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