Journal of Global Citizenship & Equity Education, Vol 1, No 1 (2011)

Exploring Deweyian Experiential Learning Pedagogy as Citizenship Development

Catherine A Broom, Heesoon Bai


Developing good citizens is one of the root theoretical justifications and purposes of public schooling and social studies. Much discussion exists, however, over what good citizenship entails and how it can best be achieved. One approach—experiential learning and its associated service learning—is currently popular in a number of disciplines. It is argued to be an invaluable way of developing students’ citizenship through experience based learning. This paper begins by reviewing Dewey’s educational theory, which encompasses experiential learning with the aim of developing citizenship, thus setting the foundations for current experiential and service learning pedagogies. It then presents the findings of a qualitative interview study with high school students and teachers who have taken part in overseas service projects. The discussion illustrates the benefits and challenges of citizenship development through experiential curricula and concludes with recommendations that aim to strengthen this form of learning.


Global Citizenship; Experiential Education

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