The reading explores the three different types of good citizens in society. The personally responsible citizen acts responsibly in their community by picking up litter, giving blood, recycling, obeying laws, and many more. Other educators see good citizens as those who actively participate in the civic affairs and the social life of the community at local, state, and national levels. We call this kind of citizen the participatory citizen. Justice oriented educators are the effective democratic citizens that analyze and understand the interplay of social, economic, and political forces (critically assesses social, political, and economic structures to see beyond surface causes).
In the video, it explains that through teaching kids in small ways, we educate them on having a role to play and a responsibility in our community. Wertheimer says that education should display the active participation that kids should have in society. He argues that teachers and parents believe that school is to encourage students to “become the best that they can be” and through this, citizenship shows up. If we focus only on the basics in education, we end up with a neglected view of education and its goals. We need to shoot past the standard foundations of schools. Wertheimer makes a strong point that students should not only be taught how to read, but to understand what is worth reading.
In elementary school, there was not much of these “good citizen” actions occurring. Except for school-wide activities such as picking up garbage on Earth Day, there was not much teaching on citizenship in the classroom. In high school, this becomes more present in certain organizations that we can become a part of. You would be considered a good student if you were involved in the SRC, SADD, and many more. This displays more participatory citizenship in the way that we are taught that it is a good way to contribute to a community through our small actions. Finally, once I entered University, it became an entire different story. These ideas were explained to us and were attached with pressures of being the best that we can be in our community. WE are encouraged to participate in various organizations, as well as made to volunteer in many of our classes. However, they slowly push you to think past the participatory citizen in university, and to push the odd students to be justice oriented citizens. Overall, I believe that the older you get, the bigger the pressures are present to be a good citizen.