Transformative Citizenship Education and Intercultural Sensitivity in Early Adolescence

Jennifer M. Mellizo


As our world continues to evolve into an increasingly diverse, interconnected, and interdependent global society, it is
becoming more important for tomorrow’s citizens (today’s early adolescent students) to develop the knowledge,
skills, and dispositions they will need to understand and communicate with individuals who come from many diverse
cultural backgrounds. Yet, relatively few researchers have examined the effects of specific curriculum interventions,
strategies, and/or educational approaches designed to improve intercultural knowledge, skills, and attitudes during
early adolescence. In this study, a causal-comparative quantitative research design was used to explore differences in
intercultural sensitivity between a group of 4th–6th grade students at a school that embraces a transformative
approach to citizenship education (School 1), and a group of students at a comparison school (School 2). An
independent t–test revealed students at School 1 scored significantly higher than students at School 2 on a
quantitative measure of intercultural sensitivity (AISI). These results suggest a transformative approach to citizenship
education can promote the development of intercultural sensitivity during early adolescence. In light of these results,
several key aspects of this particular school’s transformative citizenship curriculum are discussed in detail.

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Copyright (c) 2018 World Journal of Education


World Journal of Education
ISSN 1925-0746(Print)  ISSN 1925-0754(Online)

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