Views and beliefs of social studies teachers on citizenship education: a comparative study of the Netherlands, Bulgaria and Croatia

Margarita I. Jeliazkova

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This paper reports on a comparative study of high school social science teachers in three European countries: the Netherlands, Bulgaria, and Croatia, and presents data from teacher interviews using Q methodology. An aim of the study is to make explicit the link between teachers’ views on citizenship education and their underlying beliefs about education, teaching, and the social science curriculum. Central to this are views on the type of citizen they aim to develop through citizenship education. Five distinct types were identified in Bulgaria - Pragmatic Conservatives, Deliberative Liberals, Local Social Guardians, Personal Growth Facilitators, and Global Future Debaters. In Croatia, the types were Patriotic Conservatives, Liberal Democracy Guardians, Reflective Humanists, and Personal Growth Coaches. In the Netherlands, four types: Action Learning Idealists, Critical Academics, Loyal Citizens’ Teachers, and Moral Democratic Educators. These are variations of four ideal types of views: Hierarchical, Individualist, Egalitarian, and Fatalist (grid-group theory of Douglas and Wildavsky). The study also aims to shed light on the complexity of cultural, political, and historical contexts surrounding the introduction and implementation of citizenship education. A third aim is to demonstrate the crucial role of teachers in shaping national and European citizenship education policies. Implications are discussed for citizenship education policy, curriculum development, and teacher training. Keywords: Citizenship education, Comparative study, Social science teachers, Q methodology, Group-grid theory.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIdentities and citizenship education: controversy, crisis and challenges
EditorsPeter Cunningham
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherCICE, Institute for Policy Studies in Education
ISBN (Print)978-1-907675-20-1
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Event15th Conference of the Children's Identity and Citizenship in Europe Academic Network - Lisbon, Portugal
Duration: 13 Jun 201315 Jun 2013

Publication series

PublisherCICE, Institute for Policy Studies in Education


Conference15th Conference of the Children's Identity and Citizenship in Europe Academic Network
Other13-15 June 2013


  • METIS-308577
  • IR-93904

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