A NEW APPROACH TO CITIZENSHIP EDUCATION IN THE 21ST CENTURY NIGERIA
Citizenship and the education that promotes citizenship are as old as human society. There are two perspectives to it: traditional/nationalistic and transformative education, otherwise known as education for active citizenship. While nationalistic approach is conservative and suited to autocratic systems, education for active citizenship is transformative and appropriate for democratic governance. It is the education for the 21st Century. Nigeria applies the nationalistic approach which is anachronistic. This paper argued for the introduction of education for active citizenship if Nigeria is to achieve sustainable democracy and development. The paper clarified the concepts of citizenship education and education for active citizenship. It defined the concepts of citizenship, the citizen and the active citizen. It discussed the objectives, themes and values of education for active citizenship. The paper is based on three theoretical perspectives: the functional theory of education, Paulo Freire’s pedagogy of the oppressed and the African concept of communalism justified by the pluralist theory of citizenship. This is an exploratory position paper and thus relied on library and desktop research. It concluded with recommendations for curriculum review to reflect education for active citizenship since there has been scarcely any review from the introduction of Citizenship Education in Nigerian Polytechnics.