Reflecting on my K-12 schooling, it is evident an attempt to engage in the three types of citizenship were made. The success of those attempts, however, was extremely varied. Growing up in a middle-class and attending catholic schooling neighbourhood generated plenty of opportunities to connect with charities, do ‘good’ deeds, and enforce responsibility. I recall the first charitable encounter in school I had was the Terry Fox walk-a-thon in September of my kindergarten year. Prizes were donated by families and students were able to purchase tickets towards the items which would be raffled off. I recall winning a few items with the tickets from money my parents sent for me. I remember being so excited! I also probably cared about Terry Fox for a few days and then moved onto the next exciting thing in my life.
This pattern continued with many other moments throughout my schooling for other attempts to make a difference in the community. Canvassing for the juvenile diabetes was one that hit home as I knew I was helping a close friend who had the disease. Shopping for a young girl my own age and creating an angel box for her then delivering it to her at her school was one of my favourite memories. Extreme pressure from my Chaplin in high school to, once again, beat our previous record and maintaining the title of collecting the most food for a food drive was not my favourite time. What was the difference? What types of citizenship were achieved through these actions?
It is clear that my elementary and high school tried to create participatory citizens. They enforced actions of personally responsible citizens and encouraged students to dig deeper in their understanding. For some of these examples such canvassing for juvenile diabetes, I felt that I could connect with the issues and perhaps understand them to become a justice oriented citizen in those areas. For others such as the food drive, discussing the root causes of hunger and the urge to pursue more were never encountered.
Overall, it appears that throughout my schooling there was always an attempt to create personal responsible citizens. I would argue my previous educators tried to encourage participatory citizens but this sometimes fell short. Justice oriented citizens were sometimes encouraged but were often rare. To better create these citizens, it is essential educators spend time discussing these social justice issues with students and ensuring they understand the importance. Connecting each action to a real-world issue could help students to better understand and desire justice.