The Struggle for ‘Thick’ or Transformative Citizenship
This chapter reports on the research of the international Global Doing Democracy Research Project, which has more than 50 scholars in over 25 countries examining perspectives and perceptions of democracy in education among pre- and in-service teachers, teacher education academics and educators, in general. A more critical and thicker understanding of democracy is suggested as essential if authors desire our students to become active and transformative citizens. Many researchers have extensively critiqued the civics and citizenship education curriculum for its restricted or thin scope, reflecting the struggle over how democracy is to be perceived. The relationship between democracy and racism appeared to be problematic, where issues of racism in relation to refugees, immigrants and in particular Indigenous peoples were often highlighted as problematic for democracy. The majority of respondents reflect a reified approach to complex ways of understanding democracy, echoing how it has been presented to them in their own schooling, popular culture or in political movements.