Restoring ‘Duty’ to the Discourse of Rights and Citizenship Education: A Radical Retrenchment?
citizenship education , rights consciousness , Selbourne , social values , civic duty
This paper presents an argument that serious consideration of citizenship education requires a reconsideration of the principle of duty. Such a view is in marked counterpoint to the argument about the need to educate young Canadians about their ‘rights’ under provincial human rights regimes and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Important as ‘rights education‘ and the development of a ‘rights consciousness’ are in Canada, we shall argue that such a perspective tends to downplay the notion--philosophically correlative to ‘right'–that of 'duty’. The argument, relying on Selbourne’s analysis, develops a perspective about the restoration of the primacy of civic duty in this discourse, together with the consequent discussion of civic obligations as essential constituent elements of citizenship education.