The alleged absence of attention to existential questions in citizenship education programs: Towards a better understanding of the possible relation between existential needs of youngsters and staff, worldview diversity and citizenship education.

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

In nowadays schools we find a range of worldviews and/or religions amongst students, staff and parents. The accompanying presence of value differences appears to cultivate uncertainty. Societal tendencies like polarization and tribalization show that we live in a society under pressure. At the same time, there are indications (like the high number of loneliness and depression) that youngsters have difficulty answering existential questions. Many teachers either feel incapable or are reluctant to explicitly address the existential questions of students. As a result existential questions may be too easily neglected in educational programs that aim for democratic citizenship.
This paper offers thorough reflections on whether and how attention to the existential dimension of human being, including worldview and/or religion, can be adequately integrated in citizenship education. The reflections serve as a starting point to develop interventions which can be used in helping schools to adequately address existential needs of students and staff of diverse (non)religious backgrounds and, in doing so, stimulate youngsters from diverse (non)religious background to be willing and able to contribute to a peaceable and resilient democratic society.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-28
JournalGreek Journal of Religious Education
Volume4
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Dec 2021

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