Re-democratization and democratic leadership development in Nigeria: The impact of civic education

by Okafor, Gregory Chukwudi, Ed.D., NORTHERN ARIZONA UNIVERSITY, 2010, 333 pages; 3447369

Abstract:

Having experienced decades of military dictatorial regimes and now plunged into the re-democratization process, Nigeria requires intense citizenship education. This dissertation explores the impact of civic education in the new socio-political agenda of re-democratization and development of democratic leadership. It shares that young people should be prepared for civic duties and responsibilities not only informally through families and organizations, but also through the educational industry. Schools have an important mission in establishing and sustaining democratic ideals.

Along with intense citizenship education, re-democratization of Nigeria requires, development of intellectual and participatory civic skills; civic dispositions; competence; sufficient knowledge about the constitution, government, its structures, functions, civic duties and responsibilities of the citizens; respect for human rights; ethnic/religious diversity, informed citizenship and national consciousness. To change from a militaristic and autocratic mode of thinking and behaving, the school is expected to inculcate young people with civic virtues, democratic values and participative leadership style, and accountability. Unlike most developed nations where democracy has thrived and citizens are aware of their fundamental civic roles and rights, Nigeria needs to start learning in theory and practice how to be democratic in every facet of its socio-political life network making democracy a way of life.

The study applied grounded theory using as its theoretical sampling 20 model high school teachers and 11 open-ended qualitative interview questions for data collection. Constant comparison, coding, triangulation, and integration were used for data analysis. Further, Maxwell's five categories of judging credibility were used for measurement. Transformational deconstructive contextualization (TDC) emerged from the study. The outcome of the study will assist in future research on civic education; create more sensitization and consciousness; improve the quality of civic education in schools; sensitivity to civic engagement and community service in tandem with classroom instruction; and pave the way for better formation of democratic leadership.

The findings support the need for effective civic education curriculum and delivery, employing, and retraining of teachers for quality civic education and outcome. The study found a dearth of knowledge regarding civic education among the teachers. It follows also that young people especially students do not seem to have any knowledge about civic knowledge, civic virtues, civic skills, and democratic ideals.

This dissertation recommends prioritization of civic education in the school curricula, retraining of teachers and maximization of professional development, and change from authoritarian school setting to a democratic culture. It further recommends addressing the nature of student assessment on civic education. Further research is needed on contextualization of civic education in other regions of Nigeria in tandem with civic engagement, and community service. This dissertation provides a proactive framework for increased civic education awareness, practical implementation, and advocacy for democratic leadership development through the school.

AdviserWalter Delecki
SchoolNORTHERN ARIZONA UNIVERSITY
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsEducational leadership; Political Science
Publication Number3447369

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