Primary teachers go beyond the Slovak civic education curriculum

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Abstract

A number of studies have pointed to the low level of civic participation among young people. On the other hand, there is a section of the youth population that is politically involved in and supportive of extremist and anti-system political movements. Public discussions have suggested that this may be linked to inadequacies in citizenship education. However, as the Slovak case shows, the causes of this are deeper, have historic roots and are reflected in the fact that citizenship education has been pushed to the margins of the curriculum and is narrowly interpreted. Citizenship education is not just about the nature of the curriculum but also about broader extra-curricular activities and about the direct, or implicit, instruction provided by teachers. The empirical research presented here shows that primary school teachers go beyond the narrow framework of the national social studies syllabus and implicitly teach citizenship education in line with their own civic orientations.

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