|Author(s)||Maria de Fátima Chorão Sanches|
|Editor||A. Ross, The Experience of Citizenship|
The research here described is part of the project 'Citizenship and Scientific Literacy for all students', which articulates questions concerning citizenship education and literacy in the light of recent European policies as they reflect in the Portuguese policies and school daily practices. This paper starts with two kinds of assumptions. One regards the impact of the neo-liberal contexts on educational policies and school organizational characteristics. The other takes in consideration the polysemic meanings of citizenship and its understanding as a reality socially constructed in various spaces. While centered in a school case study, the research addressed two questions: (1) to what extent citizenship policies have inspired the philosophy underlining the school educational project? (2) In what curricular places do students learn about citizenship? The first question focuses on the analysis of the Portuguese curricular State policies and the specific modes of appropriation by the school. Particular attention was given to the introduction of two transversal curricular courses designated Personal and Social Development and Education for Citizenship. The second conjugates empirical data, both qualitative and documental, collected from a case study of an integrated suburban school (Grades 7th to 12th) with an emphasis on the students' subjective experiences and conceptions of citizenship as they develop in the school cultural context. Although there is some evidence (Menezes, Xavier & Cibel, 1997) suggesting a lack of consistency among curricular issues, the content of school texts, and what happens in classrooms, further research addressing particular contexts of schools is needed .