Written by Ellen Vea Rosnes, Professor in Intercultural Communication and Global Studies, VID Specialized University (Stavanger) Norway.
School children, Eotimati, South Africa. Photographer: Anna Emilie Larsen, album 185. Source: MDA (IMP-NMS-A185-048)
How did citizenship teaching take place in history classes in Norway after World War II? In post-apartheid South Africa? In Madagascar and Mauritius after the colonial period? And how can citizenship be taught today, when many students in the classroom have backgrounds from different parts of the world?
To find answers to these questions, we developed a research project using the concept of transloyalties. In October this year, the project received funds from the Norwegian Research Council - Researcher Project for Scientific Renewal (FRIPRO). Currently, we are in the process of recruiting two PhD Research Fellows to join our research team. Click here to see the call.
Transloyalties is a new concept that has been used within history research. The concept was developed within the VID research project CHCV led by Frieder Ludwig, Joar Haga and me. The concept is inspired by transnational perspectives in migration studies. Loyalty can mean that you have a faithful adherence to a lawful government, but also to a group. It can also concern personal relations, involvement and being truthful for instance to somebody, to an institution or to a cause. Navigating between loyalties connected to different people, contexts, institutions, norms and traditions can be called processes of transloyalties.
In TransCit, we are inspired by transloyalties to study citizenship education in different geographical, historical and contemporary contexts. The traditional role of education has traditionally been to construct and strengthen identity and citizenship in a national context. Critical approaches to citizenship education promote self-awareness about how we act in a local and global world.
In TransCit we believe that we need local and global citizens making critical reflections on how to be a citizen both locally and globally. Further, we regard citizenship as a result of processes of transloyalties.
History research and educational action research
Through history research, we ask how ideas about citizenship were promoted in history teaching in Norway after World War II, in post-apartheid South Africa and in Madagascar and Mauritius after independence. Through action research, we ask how we can teach citizenship education in history teaching today. This is for instance a relevant question in Norway since classrooms become more and more impacted by migration and pupils have backgrounds from different contexts. In Madagascar, the issue is relevant, especially with regard to the question of how to deal with the history of colonisation.
The case countries are chosen due to their different ranking according to the Human Development Index (HDI) at the top, in the middle and at the lowest levels which leads to a diversity of critical reflections and impacts on opportunities for global citizenship.
An illustration of a text about a party in a Malagasy rural village. Under the colours of the French flag, loyalties are proclaimed toward the colonial power of France and to the colonised island of Madagascar. Source: Carle, Rene. (1952a). Joies et Traveaux de l’île hereux: Cours élémentaire. Classiques Hachette.
The project team
The TransCit project team consists of Ellen Vea Rosnes, the project leader, several scholars from VID Specialized University: Brit Marie Hovland, Øystein Lund Johannessen and Frieder Ludwig, in addition to Geir Skeie at the University of Stavanger (UiS). Three female historians from the African contexts are also part of the team: Helihanta Rajaonarison from the University of Antananarivo, Sheetal Sheena Sookrajowa from the University of Mauritius and Kalpana Hiralal from the University of KwaZulu Natal. In addition, we are now recruiting two PhD Research Fellows who preferably have knowledge of the language and culture of one of the African case countries, in addition to knowledge of the History of Education in Africa.
We are grateful to have an international team of excellent researchers on our advisory board: Professor Thomas Hylland Eriksen, Professor Eckhardt Fuchs, Professor Janicke Heldal, Professor Vanessa de Oliveira, Professor Emerita Audrey Osler and Professor Johannes Seroto.
TransCit will start in July 2023 and will run for a period of 3 years.
Project website: https://www.vid.no/en/research/forskningsprosjekter/transciteng/
More about the research project (CHCV): https://www.vid.no/forskning/vids-fremragende-forskningsmiljoer/connected-histories-contested-values/