The model of teachers’ perceptions of ‘good citizens’: Aligning with the changing conceptions of ‘good citizens’

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Since the 1980s, China has increased its openness to the world and made tremendous domestic economic and social changes. This study investigates the relationship between social change and pedagogies in citizenship education (CE) and to what extent indoctrination is prevalent in CE in schools in Guangzhou, China. Data were drawn mainly from documents, student questionnaires, observed CE lessons, and interviews with students and CE teachers. Findings revealed the coexistence of various CE pedagogies (e.g., inculcation; values clarification; inquiry-based); perceived open and free classrooms in which students expressed and respected diverse views; rote learning for examination, not political, purposes; and teachers’ tension between reluctantly teaching politically sensitive topics and promoting multiple perspectives to foster critical thinking. These findings may reflect the complex interplay among different actors in the reselection of CE elements and pedagogies, in response to China’s gradual, post-1980s social transition to a less restrictive, more accommodating society. Copyright © 2017 Intellect Ltd Article.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-66
JournalCitizenship Teaching & Learning
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2017


Wong, K. L., Lee, C. K. J., Chan, K. S. J., & Kennedy, K. J. (2017). The model of teachers’ perceptions of ‘Good Citizens’: Aligning with the changing conceptions of ‘good Citizens’. Citizenship Teaching & Learning, 12(1), 43-66.


  • China
  • Citizenship education
  • Citizenship education pedagogies
  • Curriculum reform
  • Indoctrination
  • Social change


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