The complexity of citizenship and the notion that identity is not dictated by the country listed in a person's passport will be a focus at a social educators conference hosted by the University of Newcastle next week.
From Monday, educators will consider the issues associated with conflicting messages about citizenship at the biennial Social Educators Association of Australia (SEAA) conference Making a Difference: Multidimensional Citizenship Education... in a changing world.
Conference Convenor, and Deputy Head of the University's School of Education, Dr Ruth Reynolds, said citizenship had become a contested notion in the modern world.
"National government struggle to engage residents in adherence to its national vision while residents balance the contesting demands of perhaps holding multiple citizenships, and having an allegiance to a number of nations," Dr Reynolds said.
“People ask why groups brawl in the streets under the flags of different countries and why the television is full of battles fought overseas in the name of national interest.
"This conference addresses current national curriculum debates around citizenship, the role of social education in citizenship and values education, and common classroom practice."
The conference will feature three key note address in addition to a range of presentations including from the Austrade, Asia Education Foundation and Amnesty International.
Media are invited to attend each of the key note addresses:
Sharon Grierson MP - 9am, Monday 21 January, CT Lecture Theatre.
Sharon Grierson entered Federal Parliament at the 2001 election. With the Howard Government's campaign focussed on issues of immigration and national security, it was a time when the notions of citizenship, race and national identity were firmly on the political agenda. Ms Grierson will discuss how the political concept of citizenship has evolved. She will consider the impact of the Howard years on Australia's understanding of our national and international identity, and the concept of multidimensional citizenship within the context of a new Rudd Government.
Professor Terry Lovat - 1.45pm, Monday 21 January, CT Lecture Theatre.
Professor Lovat, Pro Vice-Chancellor of the University of Newcastle's Faculty of Education and Arts, will discuss how comprehensive values education programs can complement and complete the goals implied by quality teaching. His presentation will focus on global values education trials, including the Australian Government's Values Education Good Practice Schools Project, that demonstrate how values education can be used by social educators to enhance their work.
Suzanne Mellor - 9am, Tuesday 22 January, CT Lecture Theatre.
Ms Mellor, Project Director of the National Assessment Program in Civics and Citizenship, will reflect on the conference theme of multidimensional citizenship using a conceptual framework. Her presentation will discuss the multidimensional nature of identity and the need for students to learn how identity is formed, and why it is multi-faceted, so they understand how the identities of others can be similar and different without seeing pluralism as a threat.