Figured Worlds of Citizenship: Examining Differences Made in “Making a Difference” in an Elementary School Classroom

Eve Mayes, Dana L. Mitra, Stephanie C. Serriere

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

This article explores how two elementary school students responded to their teacher’s invitation in a civic classroom to make a difference to the world. We consider how the teacher framed the construct of civic efficacy and how the students refracted these ideas in their navigation of a civic education project. Closely analyzing these students’ experiences and responses, we question what differences are made when students are encouraged to think of themselves as citizens who can make a difference. Noting dissonances and ambivalences in the students’ responses, the conceptual resources of “figured worlds” enable an analysis of the interplay of discourses, interactions, sensory experiences, and material artifacts as civic identities are constituted. The two students’ differing responses are analyzed in relation to other figured worlds that students and teachers daily negotiate: of compliant citizenship, productive citizenship, and consumer citizenship. The overlaps, dissonances, and/or divergences in discourses and artifacts from various figured worlds of citizenship render some students more recognizable as civically “engaged” and “efficacious” than others.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)605-638
Number of pages34
JournalAmerican Educational Research Journal
Volume53
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education

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