An Exploratory Case Study of Citizenship Education in the Social Studies Curriculum of the Solomon Islands
This exploratory case study stems from the belief that teaching appropriate values to develop good and active citizens will improve the chaotic situation of the Solomon Islands. However, while this intention seems commendable, little thought has been given to the nature of Citizenship Education needed in a Solomon Islands context. A concern therefore, is that the curriculum reform agenda will ignore or marginalise the conceptualisation and contextual understanding of Citizenship Education to the extent that the Social Studies curriculum might not end up reflecting a contextually balanced approach to citizenship. In substantiating the concern, this case study research explores the perspectives of education stakeholders in the Solomon Islands on Citizenship Education in the Social Studies curriculum. The study examines the knowledge, values, and skills of Citizenship Education that are relevant and contextual to Solomon Islands. It investigates more fully the linkages between the Social Studies curriculum and Citizenship Education. The study scrutinises the conceptualisations of Citizenship Education in a Solomon Islands context and their implications on the curriculum. The research also explores the extent to which the Social Studies curriculum educates students about themselves, their diverse neighbours, and how to live as good and active citizens in a complex and dynamic national social environment. Using a case study involving 21 Solomon Islands participants (education officials, teachers and students), the study recommends the inclusion of contextually relevant values of rights and responsibilities, moral and social values, national identity and social cohesion in the Social Studies curriculum. Recommendations for further research are also offered.