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Owusu-Osei, Benedict
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Stellenbosch University
This study sought to assess the implications of democratic citizenship education (DCE) and its influence on teaching and learning in basic education in Ghana. The study argued that a deliberative DCE would hopefully empower all Ghanaian citizens to participate freely and equally in different activities in which they can engage themselves, express their ideas by way of argument, and justify their reasons for their various stances. This study used the interpretive theory as research methodology (paradigm) and three other distinct methods of inquiry, namely deconstructive, conceptual and narrative analysis. Philosophy of education was the main approach used in the study, which enabled me to reach my goal, which was to establish how educational policies offer opportunities for the cultivation of DCE to help citizens solve societal problems. The ideas of philosophers of deliberative DCE, such as Callan, Gutmann, Benhabib, Young, Nussbaum, Appiah, Wiredu and Gyekye on DCE tenets were discussed in relation to their distinctiveness in Africa and how they converge with Western ideas on DCE. The main research question addressed in the study was: Do the educational policies in the Ashanti region of Ghana offer opportunities to cultivate DCE in the Ghanaian society? This main question was supported by the following sub-questions: What is DCE within the liberal framework? To what extent is Ghana’s educational policy documents informed by DCE? What are the implications of educating for DCE for teaching and learning in Ashanti schools? I found that liberal DCE in Ghanaian basic education is inadequate as it gives distorted views of participation, deliberation and belonging, and shows limitedness in its conceptualisation of DCE because of its nationalistic approach that narrows education to national development and neglects humanistic overtones. Indeed, it is through this engagement that citizens come to understand each other, recognise their misunderstandings and misconceptions, and become abreast of things with which they were hitherto not familiar. In light of the above findings, I argue that DCE-in-becoming could potentially enable learners and teachers to think autonomously and respect others with whom learners co-belong. More so, DCE-in-becoming could build a strong society through civil engagement that would create a social structure for interaction and democratic advocacy, transparency and openness in dealing with tension emanating from political, ethnic, social, religious and economic life. Furthermore, a reconceptualised view of DCE-in-becoming will create an environment of collective identity, reasonableness, inclusivity and reciprocity to help educators deal with the challenges, Stellenbosch University iii possibilities and opportunities entailed in having different bodies in schools and classrooms for debates and discussions that would involve all learners. Finally, education-in-becoming has the potential to open the space for contributing and recognising the foundation for re-imagining DCE in Ghana. Ghana is in the process of achieving such education of DCE-in-becoming as a result of recent efforts by government. This can however only be achieved successfully if we can provide opportunities for learners to become familiar with the associated DCE tenets to deal with problems in JHS teaching and learning in the Ghanaian educational system.
Osei-Owusu, B. (2020). Democratic citizenship education in Ghana: Implications for teaching and learning in Ashanti Schools (Doctoral dissertation, Stellenbosch: Stellenbosch University).