Preparing culturally literate citizens through dialogue and argumentation: rethinking citizenship education

Chrysi Rapanta, Maria Vrikki, Maria Evagorou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
54 Downloads (Pure)


Cultural literacy, as a set of values and dispositions developed through dialogue and constructive argumentation with people representing different cultural identities, is an essential skillset of a twenty-first-century citizen in any part of today’s world. Especially within the current European landscape of continuous immigration and change, the fluidity and rhetoricity of identity construction require a notion of citizenship education that can adapt to this dynamic process. Moreover, the practical aspects of being a citizen in its authentic, global, democratic sense are not sufficiently emphasized within current curricula. In this paper, we present an innovative citizenship education curriculum based on dialogic, argumentative and cultural literacy skills, which addresses this gap through proposing discursive practices of cultural identity construction at a collaborative level (small group or whole class) inspired by wordless texts (picture books and animated films) on core civic cultural values such as tolerance, empathy and inclusion. Through applying a design-based research methodology with teachers from three education levels and four European countries, we conclude that dialogic lesson plans aiming at the development of cultural literacy dispositions can act as an innovative and adaptive citizenship education curriculum in diverse contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)475-494
Number of pages20
JournalCurriculum Journal
Issue number3
Early online date2020
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • argumentation
  • citizenship
  • cultural literacy
  • dialogue


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