Types of Citizens

Throughout my schooling I mainly remember citizenship education in the form of learning to vote, and how important it is for people to vote. We discussed the importance of voting from grade five, and especially talked about it in History 30. Although we talked about voting, in grade twelve neither myself or my peers could legally vote yet, and I think that we never really critically thought about voting simply because we could not do it yet. However, now that I can legally vote I do appreciate learning about the importance of voting. I also remember in elementary school that we talked about how our own decisions affect the world around us. We talking about recycling and taking care of the environment, but we were just taught that this is important to help the world not exactly why doing this makes someone a good citizen.

            The three types of citizens mentioned in the article are: the personally responsible citizen, participatory citizen, and the justice-oriented citizen. The personally responsible citizen mainly focuses on the person as an individual, while the justice-orientated citizen questions why the world is the way it is. All throughout my schooling we mainly focused on the personally responsible citizen. We talked about how we can make a difference in the community by recycling because it was important for the environment, but we never went into what it means to be a justice-orientated citizen. I believe that it is so important that students have the tools and knowledge in order to become justice-orientated students who recognize the need to make changes in the world. It is important for student to know what they are supposed to do, but also question why they are supposed to do it. By providing students with the tools to look at the root of the problem, this can hopefully help to break the cycle of whatever keeps on happening.

            However, within a school resources are often limited, so it can be extremely difficult to provide students with opportunities to be a justice-orientated citizen. Students must also be willing to work towards this type of citizenship because not all students in the classroom will feel that it is important. Working towards justice-orientated citizens should be the goal, but it may be difficult with the resources available within a school.


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