International Perspectives on Educating for Democracy in Early Childhood : Recognizing Young Children as Citizens book cover
1st Edition

International Perspectives on Educating for Democracy in Early Childhood
Recognizing Young Children as Citizens

Edited By

Stacy Lee DeZutter

  • Available for pre-order on April 17, 2023. Item will ship after May 8, 2023
ISBN 9781032135007
May 8, 2023 Forthcoming by Routledge
352 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations

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USD $160.00

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Book Description

This book brings together established and emerging scholars from around the globe to highlight new directions for research on young children as active, engaged citizens of classrooms. 

Divided into three sections, the volume draws on innovative methods to explore diverse conceptualizations of citizenship, children’s understandings, and effective practice. Rejecting traditional views of children as citizens-in-preparation, the volume explores how young children can and do live as citizens, and how early childhood educational settings serve as civic forums. Chapters discuss the child-as-citizen in relation to issues including gender, class, race, tribal status, and linguistic diversity, and ultimately illustrate how sociocultural processes in early years settings can be harnessed to promote the development of democratic dispositions and skills.

This book establishes citizenship enactment in early childhood education as a robust and growing research area with the potential to shape research, policy, and practice worldwide. As such, it will appeal to researchers and academics with an interest in citizenship education, democracy, and early childhood education, as well as postgraduate students of teacher education and those working across international and comparative education more broadly.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Recognizing Young Children as Citizens in Classrooms  Section 1: How should citizenship education be conceptualized?  2. Young Children as Democratic Participants: Ethical Consideration for Research and Practice  3. Challenges for Policy and Practice for Young Children’s Community Building Identified in a Study of Young Children’s Civic Action  4. Gender, Sexual Identities and Citizenship Education: A Critical Discourse Analysis of Canadian Kindergarten Curricula  5. Teaching Demokrasia and Uraia in Tanzanian Pre-Primary Education Programs Teaching Demokrasia and Uraia in Tanzanian Pre-Primary Education Programs  6. Realistic Utopias of the Commons in Education  7. Collaborative Commentary: How Should Citizenship Education Be Conceptualized?  8. Active Citizenship Education with Young Children: Key Themes, Possibilities and Future Research Directions  Section 2: How Do Young Children Think About and Enact Citizenship?  9. Citizen Children Raising Their Voices and Striving to Save the Planet … and Themselves  10. Investigating the Implicit: An Exploration of Elementary Students’ Conceptions of Gender  11. Using Multimodal Assessment to Empower Children as Citizens After a Disaster Event  12. “I Don’t Want You to Say No, I Want You to Say Yes”: One Two-Year-Old’s Transformative Dissent  13. Collaborative Commentary: How Do Children Think About and Enact Citizenship?  14. Broadening the Scope of Civic Education – Critical Contributions  Section 3: How Do Teachers Support Young Children as Citizens?  15. Children Are Citizens: Encouraging Civic Agency in Our Youngest Learners  16. Teaching Children the Power of Their Voice in a Preschool Classroom  17. Teaching the Black Lives Matter at School: 13-Guiding Principles as Cultural Citizenship Education for Young Children  18. Children’s Empowered Inclusion in Early Childhood Education for Sustainability  19. Comparing the Pacific and the Rural Northeast? Meta-ethnographic Investigations of Citizenship(s) in Progressive ECE Programs  20. Children as Citizens of a Global Society: Learning Together in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Classrooms  21. Collaborative Commentary: How Do Teachers Support Children as Citizens  22. Love, Empathy, and Global Citizenship Education  23. Children’s Classroom Citizenship Enactment: Challenges and Opportunities


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Stacy Lee DeZutter is an associate professor of education and psychology and the chair of the Education Department at Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi, USA.


At first blush, "Children as citizens" seems a category error—but it's actually the provocative theme of this collection. Scholars representing different nations, disciplines, and educational perspectives describe milieus in which children's behaviors, thoughts, and emotions are taken seriously. A worthwhile and mind-expanding read.

-- Howard Gardner, Hobbes Research Professor of Cognition and Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education

A beautiful example of "think globally, act locally", this volume offers important opportunities for teachers, researchers, and policy makers to learn from one another about how education can support children’s democratic participation now and in the future.

-- Ben Mardell, Principal Investigator, Project Zero at the Harvard Graduate School of Education