Navigating Citizenship Education by Employing Critical Race Theory and Social Constructivism


  • Xingtan Cao University of Ottawa


This perspective piece aims to explicate definitions of citizenship and citizenship education in a multicultural society like Canada. In doing so, this paper tries to navigate citizenship education by employing Critical Race Theory (CRT) and Social Constructivism. Understanding the connections between both theories and citizenship education would provide additional perspectives for citizenship education scholars to enunciate the meaning of citizenship education. Critical Race Theory highlights the position of race and racism to understand the structure of our society. Such an understanding would delineate citizenship education with the experiential knowledge of people of diverse social and ethnic backgrounds. Social Constructivism emphasizes the role of social interactions in shaping our understanding of the world. As such, understanding individuals’ experiences and their interactions with others would help citizenship education researchers to supplement and refine our current understanding of citizenship education. This paper presents a critical definition of citizenship in the end.

Keywordscitizenship education, Critical Race Theory, Social Constructivism