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Learning Activity

Citizenship Understandings

Learning Activity Illustration
Group Size
Age group
16 - 18 years
19 - 25 years
26-35 years
36-50 years
51-80 years
Over 80
Time Required
85 minutes

To exemplify the complexity of understandings related to the concepts of citizenship. To increase critical thinking and raise awareness about the multitude of characteristics, social realities and ways of understanding and exercising citizenship.To associate some key features of citizenship and democracy and discuss the role of individual, youth work and citizens action in citizenship.

Instructions for Educator
Step by Step Instruction

Participants are invited to reflect individually about their understanding on citizenship.Understanding the word (in groups with multiple languages) ask participants to write on the board the word “citizenship” in their own language

Step by Step Instruction

Request what is the etymological origin of this word and how is currently understood. Are there in their languages different words for citizenship, nationality, patriotism,...?

Step by Step Instruction

Spread the quotes around the training floor room and ask participants to read them all, to choose the one that they agree the most and to stand next to it.

Step by Step Instruction

Invite participants to sit near the quote they have chosen. Could happen that several participants have chosen the same one. Make a round for participants to express the reasons they choose a quote or another.

A short debriefing may follow:According to their perception, which of the quotes presented and discussed are mainstream in their society. Why do they think so?

Facilitation Tips

As facilitator you can choose not to mention the origin of the quotes (write in the other side of the paper) and at the end unveil the authors and observe the reactions of participants.At the end of the annex we have included few contemporary definitions on the concept of citizenship. To conclude the session a debate around them may be opened.

Ideas for follow-up

We can ask our community what is the main understanding of citizenship, nationality and patriotism and explore why is this way.Do all groups in our society agree with the mainstreaming understanding? Would they feel more comfortable with other approaches?