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Educating Democratic Minds in South African Public Schools: African Teachers' Perceptions of Good Citizenship

Sonja Schoeman
The Journal of Negro Education
Vol. 74, No. 3 (Summer, 2005), pp. 275-286
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40027433
Page Count: 12
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Educating Democratic Minds in South African Public Schools: African Teachers' Perceptions of Good Citizenship
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Abstract

The notion that South African public schools have a distinctively civic mission has been recognized in all national education policy documents published since the first democratic election in 1994. The African National Congress (ANC) government immediately began to realize that if the new-found democracy was to survive, education for democratic citizenship had to be taught to every future generation. The purpose of this article is to summarize scholars' views on the attributes of a good citizen and to report the outcomes of a research project on African teachers' perceptions on what factors contribute to being a good citizen. Finding out what African teachers think will provide a reasonable starting point for addressing the issue of education for democratic citizenship in South African public schools. The literature review and the individual interviews revealed that a good citizen in a constitutional democracy is someone who possesses, among others, the following characteristics: communitarian characteristics, public characteristics, and knowledge characteristics.

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