London Metropolitan University Research Institutes

Issues and Solutions in Citizenship Education – the Education of Values in Extracurricular Activities in the Crisis Situation in Latvia

Author(s) Jurgena, I., Mikainis, Z. & Kevisha, I.  
Publisher London: CiCe  
Year 2013  
Editor P. Cunningham (ed.) Identities and Citizenship Education: Controversy, crisis and challenges  
Age group -  
At the beginning of the 21st century, due to the economic crisis there has developed a new situation in Latvia. Along with the formation of the civil society, a primitive consumerist attitude and material values are gaining an increasingly dominant position. The authors of the article proceed from the idea that the environment of consumer society and its values create mainly short-term desires with the help of mass media. However, the cultural policy of the state offers more sustainable policy planning values. Young people as social addressees adopt values through the coded content of school subjects and through participation in extracurricular activities. Our analysis of regulatory education documents for general secondary schools – learning standards for school subjects – and the data of student surveys carried out in several Latvian schools, reveals contradictions between the values adopted by students themselves and the aims of value-education in the current system of education. Whilst the institutions of general education play a significant role in the development of social consciousness as the environment for citizenship education, an important aspect of the educational environment refers to extracurricular activities, whose main objective with regard to citizenship education is to actively facilitate the readiness of young people to live in the civil society. This paper presents analysis of students’ participation in extracurricular creative competitions aimed at the development of citizenship values: “The Experience of the Third Awakening in My Region (1986-1991) – The Latvian Heritage through Generations,” the project “Virtual Encyclopaedia” and the ESF project “The Development and Implementation of Support Programmes.” Keywords: citizenship education, values education, extracurricular activities

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