CDDRL faculty team receives grant to study globalization, citizenship, and education

CDDRL faculty members Francisco Ramirez, John Meyer, and Christine Min Wotipka have been awarded a major grant from the Spencer Foundation for their research on "Globalization, Citizenship, and Education: A Cross-National Study of Curricula, 1995-2005."

Since World War II, cultural, political, and economic globalization have undercut an earlier educational model that only emphasizes the nation state and national citizenship. Increasingly, the student is to be prepared to function as a responsible rights-bearing human person in a global society, relating to people regardless of national citizenship status. Increasingly, this global society is seen as legitimately very diverse and multicultural in character. Diversity within national society is also recognized as legitimate and central. At the individual level students are to learn to express and to respect all sorts of unique values and cultural materials.

This project raises questions surrounding two relevant core changes:

  1. the degree to which national curricula in the social sciences move in the broad direction of globalization and multiculturalism, as opposed to retaining their more nationally oriented postures and
  2. the ways in which national curricula resolve the tensions between building the nation and its citizenry and preparing students as individual human participants in a diverse national and global society.

The study proposes to code and analyze social science textbooks from about seventy countries around the world through the last half-century. These studies will trace worldwide, regional, and national trends in textbook emphases. These studies will examine national and transnational factors that influence the likelihood of the rise and spread of cosmopolitan, multicultural, and individual empowerment frames. These studies will also examine ways in which social studies curricula seek to resolve tensions between national unity and both supra-national and sub-national legitimated diversity.