London Metropolitan University Research Institutes

What is citizenship? A comparison of representations from Turkey and old and new EU countries

Author(s) Fülöp, M., Aktan, E., Ian Davies, I. & Navarro, A.  
Publisher London: CiCe  
Year 2010  
Editor P. Cunningham & N. Fretwell, Lifelong Learning and Active Citizenship  
Age group -  
In this paper we discuss the findings of a research project in which 100 trainee teachers (42 males, 58 females) in Turkey, exactly the same number of trainee teachers in a new EU country, Hungary, and in two old European countries, England and Spain provided data through the use of the Associative Group Analysis ( AGA ) technique (Szalay and Brent 1967) about their understandings and perceptions of ‘citizenship’. A comparative work like this is much needed as several studies proved that there is a significant difference in the meaning attributed to citizenship in different societies (Lee& Fouts, 2005; Ross et al, 2006; Davies & Fülöp, 2010). Most of these studies were carried out with teachers, but there are relatively few exploring the ideas of a younger generation, the future teachers. It is important to investigate the perceptions of trainee teachers whose thinking is, simultaneously, reflective of the ways in which citizenship is currently perceived and also illustrative of what will happen to the nature of citizenship and citizenship education in the future. It is particularly important to investigate the notions of citizenship among Turkish teachers-to-be because the membership of Turkey in the European Union has become a major controversy of the ongoing enlargement of the European Union. To compare these notions to trainee teachers from a country that joined the EU less than a decade ago (Hungary) and from two ‘old’ member states (England and Spain) may point to issues that can be later the basis of discussions and a formation of an integrated view what citizenship may mean in the United Europe. Our results, based on categorisation of the associations to the word ‘citizenship’ show several similarities, but meaningful differences as well, that will be highlighted and discussed in the paper. Key words: Citizenship, Trainee teachers, Representation, Cross-cultural comparison

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