ecosocial citizenship education: facilitating interconnective, deliberative practice and corrective methodology for epistemic accountability




ecosocial citizenship, cultural citizenship, epistemic accountability, democratic correctiveness, epistemic violence


According to Val Plumwood (1995), liberal-democracy is an authoritarian political system that protects privilege but fails to protect nature. A major obstacle, she says, is radical inequality, which has become increasingly far-reaching under liberal-democracy; an indicator of ‘the capacity of its privileged groups to distribute social goods upwards and to create rigidities which hinder the democratic correctiveness of social institutions’ (p. 134). This cautionary tale has repercussions for education, especially civics and citizenship education. To address this, we explore the potential of what Gerard Delanty calls ‘cultural citizenship’ as an alternative to the disciplinary citizenship that permeates Western liberal discourse. Cultural citizenship emphasises citizenship as communication and continual learning processes, rejecting the idea of citizenship as a fixed set of cultural ideals, norms or values defined and enforced by liberal society’s legal, political and cultural institutions, including education and ‘citizenship training’. However, we contend that a critical first step, essential to democratic correctiveness, is to clear away obstacles created by the privileging of a dominant epistemic position. We conclude that Plumwood’s philosophy alongside John Dewey’s work on democracy and education provide a theoretical framework for effective democratic inquiry aimed towards interconnective, deliberative practice and corrective methodology for epistemic accountability.

Author Biographies

gilbert burgh, The University of Queensland

Gilbert Burgh is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy in the School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry, the University of Queensland. He was the founding president of the Queensland Association of Philosophy in Schools (1994–1996), and president of the Federation of Australasian Philosophy in Schools Associations (2002–2003). He has co-authored three books with Mark Freakley: Values Education in Schools (2008) (with Lyne Tilt MacSporran), Ethics and the Community of Inquiry (2006) (with Terri Field) and Engaging with Ethics (2000) and is co-editor (with Simone Thornton) of Philosophical Inquiry with Children: The development of an inquiring society in Australia.

simone thornton, The University of Queensland

Simone Thornton teaches Philosophy in the School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry at the University of Queensland. Her teaching areas include Environmental Philosophy, Philosophy and Education, and Introduction to Ethics. She has published on the history and development of philosophy in schools in Australia; Camus, philosophical suicide, pragmatist epistemology and the community of inquiry; and the role of genuine doubt in collaborative inquiry-based philosophy. Her primary research focus is the development of ecological rationality through education. She is co-editor (with Gilbert Burgh) of Philosophical Inquiry with Children: The development of an inquiring society in Australia (Routledge).


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How to Cite

burgh, gilbert, & thornton, simone. (2019). ecosocial citizenship education: facilitating interconnective, deliberative practice and corrective methodology for epistemic accountability. Childhood & Philosophy, 15, 01–20.



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