Education and Citizenship in Portugal. Different configurations from the First Republic to nowadays
Sociology CIES / ISCTE Lisboa, Portugal
The idea of civic education has been constantly present in the portuguese education curricula. However, the way this subject has been formulated in schools assumed different configurations over the time. Nowadays, a new subject, denominated Civic Education, is part of the basic education curricula and is defined as (?) a privileged space to develop the education towards citizenship, with the objective of developing the students' civic conscience as a fundamental element on the process of educating them to become responsible, critical, active and intervenient citizens, resorting, namely, to the interchange of life experiences between students and to their individual and collective participation in class, school and community. (Decree-Law 6/2001, January 18th, 5th article, point 3, paragraph c). It is important to understand the reasons which legitimate the existence of this issue in schools and to realize the principles that support him.
In this communication, I'll try to answer the following questions: (1) Why are the governments so worried about Civic Education for young people? (2) What are the reasons behind this increasing interest from the political authorities in Civic Education, with different configurations along the portuguese history? (3) What reasons give teachers and the school the legitimacy to infuse "civic values" in the students? Thus, I'll analyse the politics that implemented civic education in different periods of the portuguese history: the First Republic, the New State, the post-dictatorship years and the current period. Besides, doing a revision of the conceptions associated with civic education, I'll explore the social and institutional contexts that give meaning to them.