LHA3182H: Citizenship Learning and Participatory Democracy

Credit Value: 

This seminar focuses on the connections between lifelong citizenship learning and participatory democracy. Part 1 of the course introduces theoretical debates on citizenship, democracy, governance, and political and social movement participation, while assessing the implications of these theories for the study and the practice of citizenship education, on the one hand, and of participatory democracy, on the other. Part 2 reviews the research literature on citizenship and social movement learning (in formal, nonformal and informal settings), and examines different models of citizenship education, looking at their purposes, methods, contents and impact for social change. With this background, we identify and interpret our own experiences of lifelong and life wide civic, political, and social movement learning. Part 3 concentrates on the pedagogical, organizational, and experiential dimensions of participatory democracy, with a focus on social movements and alternative workplaces and organizations. We analyze select Canadian and international case studies of participatory democracy, including social movement organizations, the social and solidarity economy, unions, worker-managed firms, Indigenous socio-economic practices, alternative energy initiatives, and other citizen- and community-led projects and experiments. Throughout the course, the study of lifelong learning and democratic citizenship is related to critical reflections on the state, the market, civil society, global-local dynamics, inequalities, power, social reproduction, and social change. The course includes a variety of learning formats, such as class discussions, instructor's lectures, videos, guest speakers, group work, and visits to community gatherings.

Graduate Department: 
Leadership, Higher and Adult Education