Educating for a plural democracy and citizenship – a report on practice

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 16
  • SDG 4
  • Abstract:

    This paper presents an argument for the relevance of education for critical global citizenship, with reference to a graphic design module at the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa as a case study. The first part of the paper argues that tolerance, cultural diversity, democratic participation and social cohesion are prerequisites for plural democracies. The second part argues that educational institutions, as prominent organisational structures, have an obligation to address these social issues. It is argued that addressing social inequality and developing conditions for democratic flourishing is particularly important in the newly democratised South Africa. Consequently, particular attention is paid to the South African higher education context. The paper then gives an account of an attempt at practically engaging university students in these issues through the university curricula, describing, in terms of its form and content, the above-mentioned graphic design module on critical global citizenship. Finally, it considers to what extent the module has been successful in promoting attitudes of tolerance and social cohesion in a racially and culturally mixed educational environment, using qualitative data collected from participants in the module, and reflects on the ethical and practical challenges that critical ci tizenship education might face.